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Entries in Sexy (2)

Monday
May072012

Yogurt Makes Mice Slimmer and Sexier, Study Finds

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- Scientists studying the power of probiotics to fight obesity got more than they bargained for: They found that yogurt not only makes mice slimmer, it also makes them sexier.

Studies in humans suggest eating yogurt may help stave off age-related weight gain.  But Massa­chusetts Institute of Technology researchers Eric Alm and Susan Erdman wanted to know why.

“Maybe it has to do with the healthy bacteria that live in our guts,” said Alm, an evolutionary biologist, explaining how there are 10 times more bacteria in the body than human cells.  “Maybe probiotics in the yogurt have something to do with the effects on weight.”

To test the theory, Alm and Erdman fed one group of mice a normal mouse diet and another group the same diet with a mouse-sized serving of vanilla yogurt.

“One of the first things we noticed was their fur coat,” said Erdman, assistant director of comparative medicine at MIT.  “It was so thick and shiny; shockingly shiny.”

But shiny fur wasn’t the only thing that set the yogurt-eating mice apart from their siblings: They were also slimmer, and the males had “swagger.”

“We knew there was something different in the males, but we weren’t sure what it was at first,” Erdman said.  “You know when someone’s at the top of their game, how they carry themselves differently?  Well, imagine that in a mouse.”

A lab technician would soon discover what was giving these males their sexy strut.

“She noticed their testicles were protruding out really far,” Erdman said.

It turns out their testicles were 5 percent bigger than those of their non-yogurt eating counterparts, and 15 percent bigger than those of mice on a diet designed to mimic “junk food” in humans.  And in this case, bigger was better.

“Almost everything about the fertility of those males is enhanced,” Erdman said, explaining how yogurt-eating males mated faster and produced more offspring.  “There were legitimate physiological differences in males fed probiotics, not just the extra sexiness.”

And let’s not forget the ladies.  Female mice that ate yogurt were even shinier than the males, and tended to be better moms to their larger litters.

“We think it’s the probiotics in the yogurt,” Alm said.  “We think those organisms are somehow directly interacting with the mice to produce these effects.”

Although the study is ongoing, the findings could have implications for human fertility, not to mention weight control and hair health.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov292011

Women Aggressive Toward 'Sexy' Peers, Study Finds

Courtesy Tracy Vaillancourt(OTTAWA, Canada) -- Women can be downright nasty when they don't approve of members of their own sex, according to a new study.

The harsh reactions of 43 women to a provocatively dressed peer, caught on tape by Canadian researchers, reveal just how sassy women get when they think someone else is sexier.

Tracy Vaillancourt, associate professor of psychology at the University of Ottawa and lead author of the study published in Aggressive Behavior, invited 86 women to participate in a study on conflict resolution.  But she was really interested in how the women would respond to a young female student entering the room wearing either a T-shirt and khakis or a low-cut top and mini skirt.

When dressed conservatively, the student was barely noticed.  But when she dressed sexy, she drew snarky stares and mocking chuckles as she left the room.

"This is not something that sort of happened," said Vaillancourt, describing the responses. "Ninety-seven percent of the women were inappropriate."

The inappropriate reactions were scored by 13 blinded raters on a bad behavior scale from zero to 10.  The raters could only see the study subjects -- not the female student. Most of the women were passive-aggressive, making their disapproval known without actually stating it.  The two women who refrained from making judgmental jabs, Vaillancourt said, were "probably checking their BlackBerrys."

In a second study aimed at uncovering the basis for the bad behavior the researchers showed photographs of the same student dressed conservatively or sexy to 66 different women and asked whether they would let their boyfriends spend time with her.  A third photo of the "sexy" student was altered to make her look overweight.

"When she was sexy and thin, they didn't want their boyfriends anywhere near her," said Vaillancourt.

Vaillancourt said while most women are guilty of giving attitude to sexy peers, few think about why.  One theory for the brazen behavior suggests women ''stifle each other's sexuality'' to level the playing field.

"This idea assumes that men are willing to do whatever is necessary to obtain sex and will often do roughly the minimum amount that is required," Roy Baumeister, director of social psychology at Florida State University, wrote in a 2002 study published in Review of General Psychology.  "This echoes the traditional grandmotherly advice against premarital sex, colloquially expressed in the metaphoric terms that a man who can get free milk will not buy the cow."

"When women present themselves as being sexually available, it compromises the power-holding position of the group," said Vaillancourt.  It's in the group's best interest, therefore, to punish women who violate the unspoken rule.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio