A correlational and factor analysis of anticipatory and consummatory measures of sexual behavior in the male rat

Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1990;15(5-6):329-40. doi: 10.1016/0306-4530(90)90058-h.


This study investigated the relationship among measures of anticipatory and consummatory sexual behavior displayed by male rats in the bilevel chambers designed by Mendelson and Gorzalka (1987). Normative data from a standard test of sexual behavior were gathered from 80 intact, sexually experienced male Long-Evans rats and subjected to multiple correlational and factor analyses. The correlational analysis confirmed that several consummatory measures of copulation were related significantly, whereas the anticipatory measure, level changing, was statistically independent of consummatory measures. Factor analysis using orthogonal rotations revealed five factors that accounted for 95% of the intersubject variance for all measures: Copulatory Rate, Initiation, Hit Rate, Mount Count, and Anticipation. These results indicate that at least five conceptual mechanisms are required in any theoretical description of male sexual behavior in the bilevel chamber. In particular, the extraction of separate anticipation and initiation factors indicates that these aspects of male sexual behavior are distinct. The use of bilevel chambers thus may facilitate the identification of potential neurochemical or endocrine mechanisms associated with different aspects of male sexual motivation. In addition, several statistical techniques are discussed with the aim of reducing the elevated experiment-wise error that can occur when related measures of sexual behavior are analyzed independently.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Copulation / physiology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Statistics as Topic