Appetitive male sexual behavior was measured in male quail with the use of a learned social proximity procedure that quantified the time spent by a male in front of a window providing a view of a female that was subsequently released into the cage, providing an opportunity for copulation. The learned response is not acquired by castrated males but can be acquired when castrates are treated with testosterone (T) or with the synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol or with the endogenous estrogen 17β-estradiol. Only birds that become sexually active acquire the response. Conversely, birds in which the consummatory copulatory behavior is disrupted by treatment with the antiestrogen tamoxifen lose the anticipatory response. These results demonstrate that appetitive sexual behavior is, like copulation, activated by T and by estrogens. This suggests that intracerebral aromatization of T also plays a critical role in the activation of this behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience