O Brother, Why Art Thou So Unsexy?

Having Sisters Affects Male Sexuality

Anyone who keeps up with the Kardashians has gotta sympathize with poor Rob. Growing up with three sisters, it's pretty obvious the fam's only son is used to regularly having his penis chopped off, figuratively speaking. (Although, if they literally did it, that would make for some serious ratings).

Well, there may be some science behind this emasculation... in rats at least. According to a new study appearing in Psychological Science, growing up with a lot of sisters influences a male's own sexual behavior, as well as how females respond to him. Simply put, the study found that having sisters makes a male rat less sexy.

The researchers studied rats in three types of litters: equal male to female ratio, predominantly male and predominantly female. The researchers found that the sex ratio of the rat litter in the uterus had no effect on how, in adulthood, male rats eventually behaved with "sexy female rats" (yes, the study called them that)...but the ratio of the litter while growing up did.

When males who were raised with a lot of sisters were presented with "receptive female rats" (again, the study's terms), they spent less time mounting them than those raised in predominantly male or equal litters did. But, in case you were worried, the male rats who were raised with a lot of sisters still penetrated the female rats and ejaculated just as much as the other guys. Good for them!

And aside from being less interested in gettin' some, the male rats with lots of sisters were also considered less attractive by female rats. The researchers could observe this because when female rats are interested in male rats, they'll do a "dart hop" and "wiggle their ears. It drives males nuts." That's crazy because the ole dart hop move never works when we try it.

David Crews, a psychobiologist at the University of Texas at Austin who helped conduct the study, highlights the study's implications for humans: "It tells you that families are important--how many brothers and sisters you have, and the interaction among those individuals."

But from our own experience, we gotta give more credit to the dudes with sisters. They seem to be a bit better at "talking about things," or at least they pick out nicer jewelry and don't get grossed out by tampons.


Association for Psychological Science (2010, October 21). Too many sisters affect male sexuality. EurekAlert! Retrieved from http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-10/afps-tms102110.php


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