When are researchers going to learn that studies in mice are usually a waste of time? In some cases, a dangerous waste of time ...
Most recently, a study from the University of Beijing found male mice who were genetically engineered to lack serotonin (the mood related neurotransmitter) acted bisexual. In over half the cases, the boy mice who lacked serotonin got jiggy with other boy mice first.
Great, so now we know that less serotonin may equal more tendency toward homosexuality? In mice. Because researchers say it's also not clear that any of this can be "extrapolated to humans."
So what the hell was the point of this study?
The only thing I can think of is if maybe researchers wanted to know more about mice sexuality, but I don't really think there's much value in that, right? What's creepy is that whatever their intentions were, this study's findings open a big ol' can of worms regarding human sexuality.
The researchers even seemed to realize that, because they warned that they fear people will look too far into their findings and attempt to apply them to humans. And seriously, that is the LAST thing we need, when we're already dealing with more than just fringe groups of looney toons in this country who are inventing "homosexuality curing" iPhone apps and others who think that homosexuality is a "choice," or a "lifestyle," or that people can just turn it on and off like a light switch.
Already, this study is starting to rear its ugly head in the media, being reported under headlines like "Sexual preference chemical found" that are noting how "a preference for females could be 'restored' by injecting serotonin into the brain." Danger, danger!
Worst case scenario: This could lead to even more (because there have already been) studies on gay men who have taken anti-depressants (which increase serotonin) in an attempt to act or feel less homosexual. I mean ... ughh!! Really? Aside from the obvious cringe factor of this kind of research, this is what science is spending time on? When we've got climate change to worry about, the threat of radiation on our health, lack of clean safe drinking water all over the globe, etc.?
Just cut it out, seriously. These researchers need to back away from looking this closely at rodent sexuality, and listen to some Lady Gaga to get a friggin' clue. Because, baby, they were born this way, okay? End of story.
Do you think this study's findings are potentially dangerous?
Image via Stephen Michael Barnett/Flickr