Monday, March 26, 2012

The Coolidge Effect

Male rearousal time can be reduced, in many species, by the opportunity to mate with a novel female as opposed to the same female. This has been termed the Coolidge Effect.
This makes perfect sense in an evolutionary context but I think it also makes an amusing statement about the stereotypical gender perspectives of humans. These different gender perspectives are best exemplified by a joke which was the source for coining the term, Coolidge Effect.

… an old joke about Calvin Coolidge when he was President … The President and Mrs. Coolidge were being shown [separately] around an experimental government farm. When [Mrs. Coolidge] came to the chicken yard she noticed that a rooster was mating very frequently. She asked the attendant how often that happened and was told, “Dozens of times each day.” Mrs. Coolidge said, “Tell that to the President when he comes by.” Upon being told, President asked, “Same hen every time?” The reply was, “Oh, no, Mr. President, a different hen every time.” President: “Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge.”