Sex Differences And Spatial Behavior Among Rats

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There are many well-documented cases of sex differences in spatial behavior among rats. According to Bettis and Jacobs (2009), female rats tend to outperform male rats on object recognition tasks. Bettis and Jacobs (2009) found that male rats focus on directional cues. Female rats, on the other hand, look at local cues which show them where items are positioned on the maze in comparison to the room (Bettis and Jacobs, 2009). Therefore, Bettis and Jacobs (2009) claimed that female rats are better at recognizing objects, while male rats are better at direction. Chow, Epp, Lieblich, Barha, and Galea (2013) indicated that male rats are superior at spatial tasks. However, Chow, Epp, Lieblich, Barha, and Galea (2013) also claimed that female rats are better at tasks where cues are provided. Gaulin and FitzGerald (1986) on the other hand argue that sex differences are found because of differing “reproductive tactics” (p. 85).
The basis for sex differences in spatial behavior has been debated because of various and differing findings. The reason male and female rats differ in spatial ability has been studied throughout the years and a few hypotheses have been proposed. Gaulin and FitzGerald (1986) claimed that male rats perform better than female rats on spatial tasks because of a polygamous mating system. Therefore, male rats might have superior spatial abilities because they frequently move from one mate to the next. Gaulin and FitzGerald (1986) also argued that the difference

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