Effects of alcohol on sexual reflexes and mating behavior in the male rat

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15 Scopus citations


In order to determine if some of the impairment of sexual behavior by alcohol reflects a selective depressive action of alcohol on sexual reflexes, intraperitoneal injections of 1, 2 and 3 gm per kg doses of alcohol, as well as a control dose of saline, were given to intact and spinal adult male rats. Intact males were tested for sexual behavior and spinal males were tested for sexual reflexes. The number of genital responses in spinal subjects with the 2 and 3 gm doses of alcohol were significantly less than the number of genital responses with saline injections or lower doses of alcohol. With the 1 gm dose intact subjects appeared normal. With the 2 gm dose intact subjects were sexually motivated, as indicated by their attempts to copulate with a receptive female, but there was a significant reduction in number of ejaculations and a significant increased latency to ejaculation. There was also a depression of other measures of sexual activity. With the 3 gm dose all intact subjects fell asleep. The results support the conclusion that with certain levels of alcohol intoxication, sexual motivation, reflecting the activity of higher neural structures, may remain while sexual potency or capability, reflecting the activity of sexual reflexes in the spinal cord, is diminished.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-382
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1969


  • Alcohol
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Spinal Reflexes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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