Scientists have uncovered the unusual nature of the relationship between sex and aggression

© Fotolia / llhedgehogllМолодая couple in bedScientists have uncovered the unusual nature of the relationship between sex and aggression© Fotolia / llhedgehogll

Sex and aggression were linked at the level of the brain only in the minds of males, but not females, say scientists in an article published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

«Approximately 90% of research on aggression, held today in male, and we know little about what is going on in the minds of females. It turned out that the cells that control sexual desire and aggression, located females from different sides of the hypothalamus. In males these cells are mixed, and they can fulfill both the function,» says Dayu Lin (Dayu Lin) from new York University (USA).

Males of virtually all species of mammals, with the exception of the meerkats and some other collective species are generally more aggressive and sexually active than females. Today scientists believe that these differences are associated not only with differences in levels of sex hormones, but also how the brain of representatives of either sex.

Six years ago, Lin and her colleagues found, by experimenting on mice that all forms of aggressive behavior and the desire to mate is driven by one and the same set of neurons in the hypothalamus – deep part of the brain that manages hormone production, feeding behavior, and other basic instincts.

Her trip did males indifferent not only to the invasion of competitors into their territory, but also deprived them of the urge to mating, forced on, on the contrary, forced them to attack all relatives, including females.

In these experiments, scientists have wondered about how typical such relationship for females. Using the same technique, the researchers modified the cells of the hypothalamus have several females, making their neurons sensitive to light, and started looking for potential center «of aggression and sex».

It turned out that females have such a centre was missing, and that their aggression and desire for procreation was administered by two separate region of the hypothalamus, located in different parts of the brain. For example, «inclusion» cells, located in the Central part of the hypothalamus, did the aggressive mice, and activation of cells at its periphery – ready to mate.

How there could be such differences? As scientists believe, due to the fact that the process of mating looks markedly different for males and females. It requires you to commit an action from the first, similar to aggressive behavior, whereas females just have to freeze in order to fulfill their «marital duty».

According to Lin and her colleagues, the same differences should be observed in the brain of men and women, and they are, as scientists believe, can explain why sexual offences are almost always men.

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