The components of heterosexual behaviour in rams are reviewed as a basis for understanding partner preference behaviour. A small percentage of rams will not mate with oestrous females and if given a choice will display courtship behaviour towards another ram in preference to a female. Some of the endocrine profiles of these male-oriented rams differ from those of heterosexual controls. These differences include reduced serum concentrations of testosterone, oestradiol and oestrone, reduced capacity to produce testosterone in vitro, and reduced capacity to aromatize androgens in the preoptic-anterior hypothalamus of the brain. Our observation that aromatase activity is significantly lower in the preoptic-anterior hypothalamic area of male-oriented rams than in female-oriented rams may indicate an important neurochemical link to sexual behaviour that should be investigated. The defect in steroid hormone production by the adult testes of the male-oriented ram may represent a defect that can be traced to the fetal testes. If this contention is correct, partner preference behaviour of rams may also be traceable to fetal development and represent a phenomenon of sexual differentiation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of reproduction and fertility. Supplement|
|State||Published - 1999|
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