Spotty Logic (spottylogic) wrote,
Spotty Logic

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Horrid things psychologists do to hyenas, part one--

Gonadectomy also eliminated sex differences in weight, nipple development and elasticity of the urogenital meatus

Biologists--and apparently psychologists--are some messed-up people. I can imagine the grant request for this one--

Bursar: Now, explain your experiment again?
Glickman: We'll be removing the reproductive organs of the painfully common spotted hyena, to see how that affects common sex-related differences. Like hormonal levels, nipple development, and urogenital tract elasticity.
Bursar: [shuffling papers] And you'll be testing this with--
Glickman: Red hot tongs, yes.
Bursar: Ahh. And this is a psychological experiment?
Glickman: Oh, yes.
Bursar: What are some of the possible benefits of this experiment, do you think?
Glickman: Fewer hyenas, to start with.
Bursar: Spot on, Glickman. Do you have any follow-up experiments?
Glickman: We had thought to wave large, sharp objects at their faces, and see how they react to them, possibly pull very hard on, maybe hang weights from, their tails, and see how that affects their emotion-signalling patterns. Then perhaps we'll test their bouncing points.
Bursar: You don't have, shall we say, a personal involvement in this experiment?
Glickman: [looking sad] When I was very young, my brother brought home a pet hyena. It was a little cub, but it was big enough to eat Mr. Bingles.
Bursar: Mr. Bingles?
Glickman: My stuffed koala, Mr. Bingles.
Bursar: That's terrible. We'll get you your funding right away.
Glickman: Thank you, sir.

I confess to not understanding much of this. I can't imagine the hyena signed a consent form, or had the nature of the experiment clearly stated.

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