According to a new study in the journal Nature Methods, mice get nervous around male scientists, but not female scientists. The study neglected to mention that all mice are also apparently 12-year-old girls.
The researchers claim this nervousness stems from the mice seemingly picking up on pheromones from male mammals, which male scientists tend to be. In the study, the mice experienced stress when male scientists held them in test tubes for up to 15 minutes, and even when the mice were in the presence of a man’s shirt. Not that I’ve been in test tubes for up to 15 minutes, but I can feel for you, mice. Being in the presence of a male who just wants to study your reactions would make me nervous, too. On the bright side, it’s comforting to know it isn’t just my social awkwardness that makes me freak myself out on a date — clearly, it must be the guy’s scent. Science has yet to tell me how to combat this, though. Holding my breath should work, right?