Sex Bias in Neuroscience: Female Mice Need More Representation in Behavioral Research

April 28, 2023

Mice provided for a long time flexible and suitable models for neurological and behavioral research. Since the behavioral variation of female mice was thought to highly interfere with the hormone cycle, male mice were favored in experimental neuroscience. 

Recent studies from Harvard Medical School reveals that the situation might be in fact on the contrary. 

“The study results, published March 7 in Current Biology, reveal that female mice, despite ongoing hormonal fluctuations, exhibit exploratory behavior that is more stable than that of their male peers. Using a strain of mice commonly studied in lab settings, the researchers analyzed how the animals behaved as they freely explored an open space. They found that the hormone cycle had a negligible effect on behavior and that differences in behavior between individual female mice were much greater. Moreover, differences in behavior were even greater for males than for females, both within and between mice.”