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Age-dependent variations in the sexual preference of male rats

Authors
Journal
Physiology & Behavior
0031-9384
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
55
Issue
5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0031-9384(94)90067-1
Keywords
  • Age
  • Sensitive Period
  • Partner Preference
  • Experience
  • Development
  • Male Rats

Abstract

Abstract Male rats were tested for their sexual preference behavior at either 37, 70, 90, or 150 days of age on three different occasions; while still sexually naive, after sexual experience with a receptive female, and while sexually aroused by having initiated copulation. These tests resulted in the following findings: a) 37-day-old sexually naive males showed a preference for other males and failed to show a preference for either sex after exposure to females; b) 70- and 90-day-old males showed a statistically significant preference for the female after acquiring sexual experience; c) 150-day-old animals showed a female-oriented preference only after being sexually aroused with two intromissions preceding the preference test, and d) none of the age groups tested showed a female-oriented preference without previous exposure to females. It was then concluded that a) female-oriented behavior requires sexual experience and b) the effects of experience varies with age.

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