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Men would rather starve than miss out on sex, study

More often than not we are told the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Well a recent study has disputed the adage, concluding that when it comes to sex, food is the last thing on a man’s mind.

Researchers have found that the male brain has neurons that fire up to override the need to eat.

The study, published in the Journal Nature, found that the neurons are absent in a woman’s brain meaning a woman’s brain is wired differently.

Co-author Professor Scott Emmons, from the Departments of Genetics and Neuroscience at Albert Einstein College of Medicine told British newspaper Daily Telegraph that although the research was conducted on worms, it gave a perspective that helps us appreciate and possibly understand the variety of human sexuality, sexual orientation, and gender identification.

“Although we have not looked in humans, it is plausible that the male human brain has types of neurons that the female brain doesn’t, and vice versa. This may change how the two sexes perceive the world and their behavioural priorities,” he said.

The worm species used in the study, Caenorhabditis elegans, has two sexes: males and hermaphrodites.

These hermaphrodites are essentially modified females that carry their own sperm and do not need to have sex in order to reproduce.

Scientists conditioned the worms so that when salt was present they realised that they would be starved. Over time, the worms moved away from the salt.

However when the salt was present at the same time as a mate, the male worm still moved towards the mate. In contrast, hermaphrodites moved away from the salt even when a mate was present.

It indicated that for males the sex trigger was stronger than the salt.

“These changes make male brains work differently, allowing males to remember previous sexual encounters and prioritise sex in future situations,” said the study’s senior author Dr Arantza Barrios of UCL’s Cell & Deveopmental Biology department.