[Ed. – We can dress you guys up but we can’t take you anywhere.]
Researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada released a study Monday suggesting that an untold number of experiments involving lab mice were potentially compromised because of a disparity in the animals’ reactions to men and women involved.
“People have not paid attention to this in the entire history of scientific research of animals,” team leader Jeffrey Mogil told The Verge. “I think that it may have confounded, to whatever degree, some very large subset of existing research.”
The study, published in the journal Nature Methods, found that when the animals were exposed to men during experiments, they exhibited signs of pain reduction associated with increased stress levels, as well as body temperature increases.
According to Mogil’s team, the increased anxiety can be tied to territorial behavior regarding other males. The mice had similar reactions when exposed to the smell of males from other species like dogs, cats, and guinea pigs. The effects also manifested when the mice were exposed to t-shirts worn by male and female researchers.