Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mind-Altering Parasite

Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled protozoan parasite of humans and other mammals (particularly cats) that infects 30-40 percent of the world’s human population, causing a condition called toxoplasmosis. According to a study conducted in Australia, this parasite can increase a woman’s attractiveness to the opposite sex but also make men more stupid.

Relevant excerpts from an article by Dr. Nicky Boulter, a researcher of infectious diseases at Sydney University of Technology, in Australasian Science:
Interestingly, the effect of infection is different between men and women.

Infected men have lower IQs, achieve a lower level of education and have shorter attention spans. They are also more likely to break rules and take risks, be more independent, more anti-social, suspicious, jealous and morose, and are deemed less attractive to women.

On the other hand, infected women tend to be more outgoing, friendly, more promiscuous, and are considered more attractive to men compared with non-infected controls.

In short, it can make men behave like alley cats and women behave like sex kittens.
Nearly one-quarter of adults and adolescents in the United States have been infected with T. gondii. So, if your neighbor’s wife suddenly starts looking more attractive to you, take heed. Don’t be stupid!

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