Of Mice and Manhood (Are Male Rats And Humans The Same?)

More sisters, less sex appeal?

If the same patterns hold true for humans as rodents, that just may be the case, University of Texas psychobiologists suggest.

As part of a study just published in Psychologist Today, the researchers separated rats into litters that were male-dominated, female-dominated, and gender-even, then measured their later sexual behavior.

The male rats raised among many females later mounted other female rats less often, the scientists found. And the female rats they did mount exhibited fewer rodent sex signals, like ear-wiggling.

The findings have generated big coverage, from the India to Britain to L.A.

News sources right up to Time magazine are reporting the findings breathlessly, under bold blanket headlines like “Males Who Grow Up With a Lot of Sisters Are Less Sexy.

But the research has gotten a lot of pushback, too.

On women’s lifestyle site The Frisky, for instance, one blogger said although she may not be a scientist, she’d call bull on any study that draws conclusions about human sexual behavior without studying humans directly. Humans don’t go around mounting in quite the same manner as rats, after all.

And of course, there’s the thinking that men who were raised among sisters are more sensitive to women’s needs — that it actually ups their game.

The lead scientist on this research, David Crews, doesn’t say exactly what he thinks the implications are.

“It tells you that families are important,” he said in a statement. “How many brothers and sisters, and the interaction among those individuals.”

Whaddya say? Has having had too many sisters cut down the mojo of any men you know?


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