Friday, June 18, 2010

Doing it like bunnies!

The Guardian reports, with some titillation, about a study published recently in the International Journal of Impotence Research on the effects exposure to mobile phones has on the sexual behavior of male rabbits (the surprisingly tame photo here is from the same Guardian story).

A group of researchers studied the effects of electromagnetic exposure to the genitals of 6 rabbits for 8 hours a day for 12 weeks, using as controls 6 rabbits exposed to phones that were turned off, and 6 rabbits with no exposure to phones. They tested them by introducing "teaser" females (it's not clear if they were trained or not) into the cages of the males, and measuring receptive behavior, ejaculation frequency, and hormone levels. Did the bunnies get a buzz on their phones?

The complete paper is available only to those with subscriptions, but from the abstract we learn the following:
Mounts without ejaculation were the main mounts in the phone group and its duration and frequency increased significantly compared with the controls, whereas the reverse was observed in its mounts with ejaculation. Ejaculation frequency dropped significantly, biting/grasping against teasers increased notably and mounting latency in accumulated means from the first to the fourth teasers were noted in the phone group. The hormonal assays did not show any significant differences between the study groups. Therefore, the pulsed radiofrequency emitted by a conventional MP, which was kept on a standby position, could affect the sexual behavior in the rabbit.
Obviously, this study is meant to address the question of whether long term exposure to electromagnetic waves is harmful to mobile phone users, not just what it does to a rabbit's sex life (especially given how infrequently rabbits carry cell phones for 8 hours a day, on or off). A number of studies have shown little or no effect on risk of brain cancer (maybe), which we blogged about here, but because phones are hung from a belt, or kept in pockets probably for more time than they are held up to the ear, the question of other than brain effects is an obvious one. Of course, there's probably less distance between the phone and a rabbit's genitals than a human's, but even so, the results of this study are suggestive in more ways than one.

A common slur against mankind is that men haven't the metabolic energy to serve their two main organs, their brain and their nethers. So this study may show that either way, a phone call is a bad thing.


James Goetz said...

I'm unconvinced that the scientists measured the effects of electromagnetic exposure on rabbit genitals. For example, the differences in the test groups could have resulted from electromagnetic exposure on rabbit brains less than a foot away from their genitals, which resulted in the changes of sexual behavior.

Anne Buchanan said...

Perfectly possible. In any case, it's interesting that someone has decided to think about possible effects other than brain tumors.