Sex Differences



Sex differences in drug responsivity are generally not studied for their own sake In this respect they resemble species differences, another important class of genetically determined responses, which are nevertheless outside the scope of this review [see Brodie (1962) and Ellinwood and Kilbey (1975) for surveys and Karczmar and Scudder (1969) and Richardson et al. (1972) for contemporary examples described in Sections 7.3 and 5.2, respectively]. Indeed effort is often made to exclude sex as a potentially disturbing variable by using subjects from one sex only—usually males. The rationale here is that tacitly applied in much behavioral experimentation, that is, the need to avoid possible artifacts arising from differences in general activity associated with the estrus cycle of females. The evidence for such contamination remains slender, though the basic proposition that females of laboratory rats show differential general activity associated with stage of estrus is reasonably secure (Finger, 1969). That some caution is appropriate can be justified by reference to work such as that of Whitman and Peretz (1969) who showed that the peak of activity in the female rat associated with ovulation can be delayed by an injection (30 mg/kg) of sodium pentobarbital.


Alcohol Preference Basic Proposition Disturbing Variable Saccharin Preference Motor Incoordination 
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Copyright information

© P. L. Broadhurst 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BirminghamBirminghamEngland

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