He speculates that since bedding from stranger mice produces the effect, what causes the stress is the thought of imminent territorial aggression from males in general, rather than the threat of predation from human males specifically. “What they’re afraid of is strange male mice,” he explains. “It’s just that other male mammals, including us, smell like male mice.”

Mogil’s theory might also explain why the presence of female researchers and olfactory stimuli defuse the effect of stress-induced analgesia: If the mice smell a mixed-sexed group, the “strange” male mouse is likely to be within a group or with its family, and much less likely to be aggressive or defending territory. The scientist has received a grant to observe whether the same effect is true for people. He believes that it will be, however, since the stress disappears once the animal convinces itself there’s no actual danger, “humans would be able to do that fairly quickly"—and any observable stress response would likely be much smaller and shorter-lived.

Are male scientists screwing up research because of their gender?

In related news, male everything-elses may also be screwing things up because of their gender, but not because of their scent.

I know it was just announced and maybe got a little lost in all the con news, but I kinda find despicable and extremely hypocritical that there has yet to be an article from any comics site about the fact that STORM is getting an ongoing series. Like Star-Lord gets seventeen articles, and Storm gets a half-line mention along with other stuff.


I don’t know about either despicable or hypocritical. Sites cover what they want to cover, and what they think is going to be of interest to their readers. And there are a lot of comics coming out every week.

There’ll no doubt be coverage given to the STORM series. but that’s really got very little to do with us.

Worth noting from the journalist side of things: Star-Lord has the benefit of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie to act as additional buzz/interest (Storm has X-Men: Days of Future Past in theory, but the character hasn’t featured heavily in promo for the movie; also, people have seen multiple X-Men movies by now, so it’s less exciting for many). To be blunt, Star-Lord will likely get more hits.

Not to mention, Star-Lord has had an official press conference from the publisher and Storm hasn’t.

I’ve been following, and loving, the response to this post for many reasons, not least of which is the wide variety of different responses and readings to the same text. It’s not necessarily been the critical analysis I was looking for because of the nature of Tumblr and the Internet in general, but it’s been fascinating in many of the same ways nonetheless. Yay for the Internet, even with the occasional vehemence/hyperbole/tendency towards binary constructs that it engenders.