What is the Big Deal? T. gondii Changes Human Behaviors!
Toxoplasmosis Changes Human Behaviors!
Eyes Wide Shut: An Enigma
Eyes Wide Shut: An Enigma
In researching for my completed book, “Eyes Wide Shut: An Enigma,” I have discovered disturbing facts about T. gondii. In prior HubPages hubs, I have discussed the basics about Toxoplasmosis Gondii, also known as: T. gondii.
What is the Big Deal?
T. gondii changes our behaviors. It also changes our cultures, says Kevin Lafferty, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Also, Researchers in the Czech Republic have suggested T. gondii might have subtle but long-term effects on its human hosts.
Lafferty has a theory that the personality profiles resulting from T. gondii, with increased feminine qualities in women and more masculine ones in men, may explain “greater differentiation of sex roles” in countries with rigid gender norms. Men display more masculine qualities and women display more feminine traits. The relationship between toxoplasmosis and the common personality profiles of a population may explain some aspects of the “personality” of a culture, in particular gender roles and expectations.
What Behaviors Do Infected Women Have?
Per Lafferty, the countries examined also kept records of the prevalence of T. gondii antibodies in women of childbearing age. Countries with high prevalence of T. gondii infection also had higher average neuroticism scores. Dr. E. Fuller Torrey (Associate Director for Laboratory Research at the Stanley Medical Research Institute) noticed links between Toxoplasma and schizophrenia. Pregnant women with high levels of antibodies to Toxoplasma are more likely to give birth to children who will develop schizophrenia.
An example, women when infected with T. gondii create a strong desire in infected men to be around them. Brazil and France have high infection rates of 70 – 90%. Both countries’ women are known for their being attractive to men.
Flegr et al study in 2000, indicated infected women were promiscuous, warm hearted, outgoing, easygoing and high will-power. In addition, infected women more likely to respect social rules, be amicable, attentive, and loyal to others than women who are uninfected. These behavior changes are long term, beginning from the initial infection to the latent stages of T. gondii infection.
What behaviors Do Infected Men Have?
T. gondii Infected men are more introspective, suspicious and have low self-esteem. T. gondii infected men appeared to suffer from the “alley cat” effect: becoming less well-groomed undesirable loners who were more willing to fight. They were more likely to be suspicious and jealous. “They tended to dislike following rules,” Flegr said.