Photo: zebranete via flickr
You may not want to hear this if you’re a testosterone-pumping male, but the source of your really bad mood swings could have something to do with your earlier sexual escapades, says a recent study from Ohio State University (via Fox News).Adolescent sex may have also stunted the growth of your reproductive organs because it happened during the development of your nervous system.
“Having a sexual experience during this time point, early in life, is not without consequence,” co-author John Morris said. “It could be affecting males’ susceptibility to symptoms of depression, and could also expose males to some increase in inflammation in adulthood.”
The study split up hamsters who were 40 days old — the equivalent of a human’s mid-adolescence — and “adulthood” 80 days old into sexually active and non-sexual groups. Researchers found that the sexually active hamsters had “lasting negative effects on the body and mood well into adulthood” displaying more “depressive-like behaviours, lower body mass, smaller reproductive tissues and changes in cells in brain,” such as a stronger immune response, which means their immune system is constantly at a peak even when there is no infection present.
As part of testing, the animals were placed in mazes and results showed the sexually active hamsters refused to explore “open areas” and chose, instead, to “hide in isolation.”
“Sex is doing something physiological that these cells are interpreting and responding to with shorter dendrites,” co-author Zachary Weil said. “There is a time in nervous system development when things are changing very rapidly, and part of those changes are preparations for adult reproductive behaviours and physiology.”
Male hamsters reach puberty at age 21 days and have were chosen “because they have physiologic similarities to humans.”
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