Of mice and men and mounting

Here’s another game of “spot the difference”.

Headline in the Telegraph:

Men brought up with women are less sexy

First sentence of that article:

Having a large number of female siblings makes men no less heterosexual but their mannerisms and body language may be seen as less butch than those who have been brought up amid the rough and tumble of a male dominated household.

If you answered “Butch and masculine is not always the same thing as sexy”, you’d be right.

In fact, it gets worse. The study in question (paywalled – here’s the press release) didn’t look at humans at all, but rats, and found that males raised in largely female litters mounted females less often – though interestingly, the number of times the rats actually mated, instead of simply mounting the female then falling off straight away, was the same regardless of how they were brought up.

Once again, the psychology of animals is not necessarily the same as that of humans. The study suggests the difference in mating may be caused by rats with many sisters smelling different, or finding less “novelty” in female rats.  Nothing in this study shows that men with sisters are less attractive or less masculine than those without, and it’s dishonest of the Telegraph to suggest otherwise.

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