Learned aversions to copulatory behaviors in male rats

Behav Neurosci. 1983 Feb;97(1):140-5. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.97.1.140.


When male rats received an injection of lithium chloride immediately after an encounter with an estrous female, the vigor of subsequent copulatory responding was initially unaffected. After 5 to 10 such pairings, however, male rats displayed an aversion to copulatory behaviors; they ceased to copulate entirely. These aversions persisted when the rats were tested in a novel environment and extinguished after four nonreinforced trials. This multiple-trial adaptation of the conditioned taste aversion paradigm provides a new approach to the aversive control of sexual behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chlorides / pharmacology
  • Conditioning, Classical*
  • Copulation*
  • Environment
  • Extinction, Psychological
  • Female
  • Lithium / pharmacology
  • Lithium Chloride
  • Male
  • Rats


  • Chlorides
  • Lithium
  • Lithium Chloride