We often hear how men do not use their brain as much they use their genitals to make decisions. We also have the stereotype of men being more amorous of food than of anything else. But, which of the two exerts more influence on men, if any of them does at all? A new study has suggested that male brains are wired to opting for mating as opposed to foraging for food. The research put into perspective the behaviour of nematodes: the latter were found to suppress their capacity of searching for food so that they can look for potential mates. Might this be true for some of us?!
The study published in the journal Current Biology is said to hint at some basic differences between male and female behaviours.
“While we know that human behavior is influenced by numerous factors, including cultural and social norms, these findings point to basic biological mechanisms that may not only help explain some differences in behavior between males and females, but why different sexes may be more susceptible to certain neurological disorders,” said lead author, Douglas Portman, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Genetics and Center for Neural Development and Disease at the University of Rochester.
Extrapolating the results from a microscopic roundworm, the C. elegans, to human males might be somewhat of an exaggeration. However, the organism has been used by biologists to understand many critical mechanisms such that the understanding of human biology has broadened as a result. C. elegans is often used in researches involving the nervous system. In the new study, specific neurones and receptors were examined. The neurones were those related with smell control. Smell is a fundamental sense of the organism to locate food, steer clear of potentially dangerous entities and to find a mate.
C. elegans exist in two sexual forms: the males and the hermaphrodites which are considered to be modified females that can both self-fertilise themselves and mate with males.
The behaviours of the C. elegans were observed in relation to their reactions to food and their need to hunt for mates. The hermaphrodites and the males acted differently upon exposure to food: the former would more likely stay at a food place when placed there, while their counterpart tended to leave the spot and set out probably to search for mates.
The analysis of the occurrences at the microscopic biological level showed that the hermaprodites produced more of a receptor that conferred on them acute sensitivity to food. Males, in turn, had fewer of these receptors being produced, such that their desire for food was suppressed, according to the scientists. Males would only increase in the production of this receptor when they were deprived of food so that they could finally focus on foraging.
The experiment done leading to such conclusions involved exposing both the hermaphrodites and the males to food. Then, it was seen that as the modified females focused on food, the males left their own food source and moved to where the hermaphrodites were to mate with them.
Ah, would men leave food to be on the look-out for mating partners? This does sound like real-life happenings, right?! Well, men do have more feelings than just hunger…