Rats in Jackets – A model of fetish development
Where do sexual fetishes come from? Well, tonight, we are going to explore one possible cause for sexual fetishes. As you may recall, some time ago, I spoke with Dr Michael Aaron on episode 8 about fetishes, partialisms and other sexual interests. During that conversation, he spoke of a Canadian study that involved rats in jackets. After speaking to Dr. Aaron, I decided I needed to read this study. And, to be honest, this is probably my most favourite research into the development of sexual fetishes. Dr. Aaron couldn’t recall the name of the scientist off the top of his head, but I found him!
Joining me to talk about his research into the development of fetishes, in particular, rats in jackets, is Dr Jim Pfaus from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.
About James Pfaus
Dr Pfaus is a Professor of Psychology at Concordia University and has an active lab researching sexuality in humans and lab animals. I recently spoke with one of his students, Simon Dube, about his on-going research into BDSM.
On his Concordia biography, Dr. Pfaus describes his research as generally concerned with the neurochemical and molecular events that subserve sexual behaviour and neuroendocrine functions. He is interested in the role of brain monoamine and neuropeptide systems of arousal, desire, reward, and inhibition in laboratory animals, as well as the inhibitory and disinhibitory effects of drugs on sexual behaviour.
His research in human sexual function focuses on subjective and objective measures of sexual desire and pleasure in women and men, and how such measures are altered by different types of erotic stimulation. They are also exploring the sexual functioning of individuals under stress or with anxiety disorders. As someone with a diagnosed anxiety disorder, I find this line of research interesting and vital to improving the lives of those with mental wellness struggles. But maybe that will be a chat for another time.
- Somatosensory conditioning of sexual arousal and copulatory behaviour in the male rat: A model of fetish development Or, as I affectionately call it … Rats in Jackets.
- Rats With Jacket Fetishes? What Animal Sex Studies Reveal About the Origin of Unusual Sexual Interests – Article written by Dr Lehmiller on the research.
Here’s a cute video about fetishes which mentions Dr Pfaus’ research.
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