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Horm Behav. 2012 Apr;61(4):565-72. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2012.02.003. Epub 2012 Feb 10.

X-chromosome dosage affects male sexual behavior.

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  • 1Neuroscience Graduate Program and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Sex differences in the brain and behavior are primarily attributed to dichotomous androgen exposure between males and females during neonatal development, as well as adult responses to gonadal hormones. Here we tested an alternative hypothesis and asked if sex chromosome complement influences male copulatory behavior, a standard behavior for studies of sexual differentiation. We used two mouse models with non-canonical associations between chromosomal and gonadal sex. In both models, we found evidence for sex chromosome complement as an important factor regulating sex differences in the expression of masculine sexual behavior. Counter intuitively, males with two X-chromosomes were faster to ejaculate and display more ejaculations than males with a single X. Moreover, mice of both sexes with two X-chromosomes displayed increased frequencies of mounts and thrusts. We speculate that expression levels of a yet to be discovered gene(s) on the X-chromosome may affect sexual behavior in mice and perhaps in other mammals.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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