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The Curious Sexual Effects of Serotonin on Mice

File this under the "Things that make you go hmmm" category. Researchers have found that when courting, male mice with low levels of serotonin seem to be less choosy about what gender they like as their sexual partners. Serotonin is a chemical your body produces that's needed for your nerve cells and brain to function. This is the first time that serotonin's role in sexual preference has been studied.

Published in the March 23 issue of the journal Nature, researchers found that male mice genetically engineered to produce less serotonin courted both females and males. However, when given the choice between getting busy with a male or a female, the mice no longer reliably chose the female, as male mice with normal levels of serotonin in the brain do.

But don't go drawing any human conclusions. Researchers say that the male-on-male courtship seen in the study doesn't translate to human sexuality, and may not even prove that the neurotransmitter plays a role in human sexual behavior at all. Researchers are also not sure if the same behavior applies to female mice who have low serotonin levels.



Jenipher WaltersJennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.

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