Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Rats in the News: Rats and Mice React Differently to Men and Women
Article: Male Researchers Stress Out Lab Rodents
An interesting article on the effect that the presence of men has on laboratory rats and mice, compared with the presence of women. I, personally, have never noticed a difference in the way our rats react around my husband compared with around me, but the article does say that the effect diminishes with time, so maybe it is just an effect when they are getting to know you.
I do wonder, however, if this effect plays a role in male vs female veterinarians. Would a rat be less stressed around a female veterinarian? Would he/she be more likely to experience pain around a female veterinarian? I am guessing the effect is insignificant compared with the stress produced just by visiting a strange location with lots of predatory animal smells. My rats have always been nervous visiting the vet, even though our veterinarian is a woman.
I will say that I definitely notice this effect in one of our dogs. She is a very good guard dog, but it takes her a while to warm up to new people. It is much easier to get her to relax around women than around men. I think that is a pretty common reaction in dogs, so I can see it carrying over to rats in less obvious ways.