There may now be clear scientific evidence why women may appear more scared of mice than men are.
The rodents become more agitated when they smell a man nearby, but the presence of a woman had no noticeable effect on them, according to a study by McGill University in Montreal.
In research published in the online journal Nature Methods, the scientists said that the presence of male experimenters produced a stress response in mice and rats equivalent to that caused by restraining the rodents for 15 minutes in a tube or forcing them to swim for three minutes.
The findings, in the report Nature Methods, may have implications for laboratories that use mice in research.
Scientists believe that the animals’ fear is triggered by chemical signals from pheromones that all humans and animals produce.