January 9, 2009

Question: What's going on at the University of Wisconsin?

Answer: Tickling girl rats' tummies for hours on end and making their brains more like boy rats' brains.

Question: Why can't a woman be more like a man?

Answer: She can, if only you would rub her belly much, much longer.

***

(Q: How did I find this story? A: Hazy Dave.)

24 comments:

David said...

So, if I do enough belly rubbing, I go to bed with a woman and wake up with a man? Freaky.

PatHMV said...

I think that's illegal in several states still. Maybe not after Lawrence, though.

Professor, could you please fix the link to the story?

Simon said...

Question: what was the motivation of these male scientists to find a way to make women more like men, hmm?

University of Wisconsin or University of San Francisco, eastern annex, hmm? ;)

Simon said...

David said...
"So, if I do enough belly rubbing, I go to bed with a woman and wake up with a man?"

"You've been bamboobzled!"

Ann Althouse said...

Ooh, sorry about screwing up the link.

David said...

"You've been bamboobzled!"

Not the first time. Nor the last, probably.

Henry Buck said...

What about the reverse effect? Would the lack of a mother's attention to a baby male rat make its brain more like a female rat's brain?

(I've gotten plenty of belly rubs over my life time, but always from women.)

theobromophile said...

Not to interrupt the amusing comments with something more serious, but this part of the article bothered me:

The research, reported in the New Scientist, challenges the long-accepted belief that the physical differences between a male and female brain are genetic.
It may very well be true, but it fails to account for the fact that mother rats (always, apparently) treat their male offspring differently.

If you spend enough time rubbing mother rats' stomachs, will they groom their daughter rats more?

PatHMV said...

Doesn't conventional wisdom have it that the more a mother "dotes" on her son, the more likely he's going to turn out effeminent or gay? When we think of a macho tough guy, do we picture a guy who was raised by a mother who touched him a lot when he was an infant?

campy said...

So, if I do enough belly rubbing, I go to bed with a woman and wake up with a man? Freaky.

No, just a woman who thinks like a man. Some might call that the best of all possible worlds.

David said...

"Doesn't conventional wisdom have it that the more a mother "dotes" on her son, the more likely he's going to turn out effeminent or gay? "

No, that's the conventional myth.

The cw--based on lots of research--is that a doting mother is likely to cause the son to be self-confident and successful. That seems to be true whether the son is straight or gay.

traditionalguy said...

Who cares what RATS do? I still have not overcome my Judeo- Christian point of view suficiently to care about RAT SEX. Although I was once A Mickey Mouse Club member, I never was not attracted to Annette's Rat Ears, but rather to her other prominent features. M I C K E Y M O U S E was obviously a Momma's Boy.

Triangle Man said...

PatHMV said...

Doesn't conventional wisdom have it that the more a mother "dotes" on her son, the more likely he's going to turn out effeminent or gay?


Don't you mean that if fathers show affection for their sons, the sons may turn out gay, but it's really the fathers who are closeted homosexual marines? At least, that's how it was in American Beauty. What movie are you talking about?

Derek Kite said...

I wonder if Joe the Plumber has his belly rubbed adequately when he was a kid.

Or more importantly did Obama? Maybe that's why he wants to redistribute?

Derek

former law student said...

Prof. A: Please forgive me for not emailing the latest in squirrel food news, but it is on the general topic of rodents: http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/article.html?Squirrel-flavoured_crisps_go_on_sale_in_UK&in_article_id=468192&in_page_id=2

The UK company Walters is having a potato chip (crisp) contest, and Cajun squirrel is one of the proposed new flavors.

Ann Althouse said...

FLS: I did a frontpage post before you posted that.

Mark O said...

Same as it ever was.

Trooper York said...

The problem with the Disney studio was that Mickey dominated everything. He went from an amusing rodent to a power mad despot. Since he was the most popular of the cartoon characters he demanded all kinds of perks. He even had a casting couch. He had to bang every one of the cartoons who auditioned for the role of Snow White. They had to be able to rub his belly and whisper sweet and comforting words like his mother used to do. And of course, they had to enjoy anal.
(The Cracks in Magic Kingdom, The E True Hollywood Story of Mickey Mouse)

traditionalguy said...

Trooper: Thanks for the insight into the real Disneyland Peyton Place. I always suspected Snow White was not a virgin, but was a trashy gold digger who merely wanted any available Prince to buy her clothes from Sacs Fifth avenue and then dump him for another gig with at least fourteen Dwarfs. How sad. At least we still have the Pure Pres. Obama who really loves us and not our money.

Trooper York said...

Mickey was jealous of all the other characters. Even though he was the star and focal point of many, many movies he wanted to star in all of them. He tried to play the Daffy Duck roles but he couldn’t handle the accent. He demanded to star in the Lady and the Tramp but he couldn’t learn to suck the spaghetti. He even wanted to play Prince Charming but Walt had to lay down the law and let him know that the Prince couldn’t be a rodent. Or black. Things were different in those days.
(The Cracks in Magic Kingdom, The E True Hollywood Story of Mickey Mouse)

former law student said...

I did a frontpage post before you posted that.

You beat me.

John Burgess said...

Because I can read, I would never suggest a subject for Althouse to blog about.

I do, however, have the temerity to suggest that she institute a tag for 'tummy rubbing'. This is a subject the span of which is barely described. And I'm not linking this to anything to do with the 'plague of obesity'!

Ann Althouse said...

I am always up on the squirrel news. But I am glad to know that when you see squirrel news, you think of me.

Hazy Dave said...

There's apparently no video of Randy Newman singing "Tickle Me" on YouTube at the moment. Oh, well.

Anyway, it's good to know the scientists at UW are still bringing in the research grant money and providing gainful employment to their grad students.