Researchers Force “Drugged-Up” Rats To Have “Gay Sex” By Rubbing Food On Partners

Researchers in Mexico have released the results of a four-year study to turn rats “gay” by using mind-altering drugs to sexually “condition” male rats when placed with other male rats.

The “sexually naive” drugged-up rats were introduced to their same-sex “partner rats” which had been marked with an almond scent, and exposed in 3, 24-hour sessions that took place 4 days apart.

The repeated pairings increased the likelihood that the almond smell of their same-sex partner would act as a conditioned stimulus to elicit “happy” chemicals released in the rats brain and elicit arousal.

When the drugs were taken away, were then given a choice between a receptive female partner or the almond scented male. According to the study, the conditioned males would choose the almond-scented male rat.

Below a summary of their findings published in this month’s Brain Behavior Research:

Conditioned same-sex partner preference can develop in male rats that undergo cohabitation under the effects of quinpirole (QNP, D2 agonist). Herein, we assessed the development of conditioned same-sex social/sexual preference in males that received either nothing, saline, QNP, oxytocin (OT), or QNP + OT during cohabitation with another male (+) or single-caged (−). This resulted in the following groups: (1) Intact−, (2) Saline+, (3) QNP−, (4) OT−, (5) QNP+, (6) OT+ and (7) QNP/OT+. Cohabitation occurred during 24 h in a clean cage with a male partner that bore almond scent on the back as conditioned stimulus. This was repeated every 4 days for a total of three trials. Social and sexual preference were assessed four days after the last conditioning trial in a drug-free test in which experimental males chose between the scented familiar male and a novel sexually receptive female. Results showed that males from groups Intact−, Saline+, QNP− and OT− displayed a clear preference for the female (opposite-sex), whereas groups QNP+, OT+ and QNP/OT+ displayed socio/sexual preference for the male partner (same-sex). In Experiment 2, the brains were processed for Nissl dye and the area size of two sexually dimorphic nuclei (SDN-POA and SON) was compared between groups. Males from groups OT−, OT+ and QNP/OT+ expressed a smaller SDN-POA and groups QNP+ and QNP/OT+ expressed a larger SON. Accordingly, conditioned same-sex social/sexual partner preference can develop during cohabitation under enhanced D2 or OT activity but such preference does not depend on the area size of those sexually dimorphic nuclei.