Natural Or Hormone-Induced Sexual and Social Behaviors in the Female Brown Lemming (Lemmus-Trimucronatus)
The behaviors of intact or ovariectomized, estradiol benzoate-treated or estradiol benzoate followed by progesterone-treated female brown lemmings were compared. Intact, diestrous females engaged in more social interactions with a male than did ovariectomized females (Experiment 1). In the first 5 min of a 1-hr mating exposure (Experiment 2, Test A) intact females in natural estrus engaged in more social and sexual behaviors than did ovariectomized females in estrogen-induced estrus. However, during the last 5 min of the 1-hr exposure (Test B) ovariectomized females receiving estrogen alone continued to show high levels of sexual activity with a male partner, while intact estrous females or females receiving estrogen followed by progesterone showed an apparent drop in sexual receptivity and an increase in aggressivity. Aggressive behaviors, as indexed by threat-leap behaviors on the part of the female may increase in the presence of progesterone. Declines in sexual activity, occurring within 1 hr of progesterone injection, were apparently dependent on the interaction of progesterone and copulatory events which may affect both the male and female.