Decoded: 4 interesting facts about sex and the male mind

Feb 01, 2017, 18:15 IST | midday online correspondent

Men always remember and cherish great sexual experiences, say researchers. Experts shed light on this and other interesting facts...

Male brain wired to remember 'good sex': A pair of neurons that has been found to remember and seek sex even at the expense of food. These male-specific neurons are required for sex-based differences in learning, suggesting that sex differences in cognitive abilities can be genetically hardwired. A research team at an eminent American medical college has found in a recent study discovered how genetic and developmental differences between the two sexes lead to structural changes in the brain of male worms during sexual maturation.

Decoded: 4 interesting facts about sex and the male mind
Representational picture

The team were surprised to find previously unidentified cells that are responsible for the behavioural change as worms are an extremely well studied model organism. They were able to show that the cells from which these male brain neurons are born share common characteristics to the cells that give rise to human brain neurons.

They are glial cells -- companion and support cells of neurons.The newly identified pair of neurons -- called 'mystery cells of the male' or “MCMs” - create behavioural differences between the sexes by changing a brain circuit common to both. The “MCM” neurons are only made from glial cells that have male chromosomes.

Why men lie about who they slept with: Researchers at a reputed American university found that, when it came to sex, men wanted to be seen as “real men:” the kind who had many partners and a lot of sexual experience. They discovered how people would honestly respond to questions about sexuality and other gender-role behaviors by asking some study participants questions when they thought they were hooked up to a lie detector machine.

293 college students between the ages of 18 and 25 participated in the study. This result confirms what the team found in an earlier study, back in 2003 – with one important difference. Back in 2003, women went from having fewer sexual partners than men (when not hooked up to a lie detector) to being essentially even to men (when hooked up to the lie detector.) In this new study, women actually reported more sexual partners than men when they were both hooked up to a lie detector and thought they had to be truthful.

Women's tears kill sexual arousal in men: According to cognitive neuroscientists at a medical institue in Israel, tears contain chemical signals that decrease sexual arousal and testosterone levels in men. In the study, men were asked to sniff vials containing either the women's tears or saline that had been applied to their cheeks. Results showed that men who sniffed the tears perceived those women as sexually less attractive than did men who sniffed saline.

And men who took a whiff of tears (and not saline) reported a decrease in sexual arousal. These men also reported reduced activity in the areas of brain that are associated with sexual arousal, such as the hypothalamus. Interestingly, on the other hand, tears are considered to heighten empathy and induce caring behaviour, and they act as sexual attractants in mice but decrease sexual arousal in humans.

Men are made to ogle women! While often linked to aggression and hostility, testosterone is also the hormone of the libido. And, guys have six times the amount surging through their veins as women, say researchers at a New York varsity. They found that testosterone impairs the impulse-control region of the brain. While it has yet to be studied, this may explain why, as Brizendine says, men ogle women as if on "auto-pilot" and often forget about the woman once she is out of their visual field.

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