According to Science, Rats and Mice Don’t like the Scent of Male Humans

What does this mean for the centuries of medical research on the rodents that males conducted?

Katrina Paulson
Irrelevant Matters
Published in
5 min readOct 6, 2022


Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

As you’re probably aware by now, a lack of diversity in past medical research is revealing itself in modern science and medicine. Today, as more women join the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, we’re learning even more about the impact of centuries worth of sexism and racism in medical research.

Such as today’s topic, researchers discovered that the smell of human males negatively impacts mice and rats. Considering they are the primary animals used in research, this could have consequences we haven’t even discovered yet.

Lack of Women in STEM

On a personal note, when I started my writing journey, I thought creative writing and personal essays would be my niche. Never would I have guessed that science is the topic I enjoy the most and can easily envision writing about for the rest of my life.

Science, or math for that matter, were subjects I intentionally steered far away from in school. Now I wonder what my life would be like if I better understood scientific fields and their role in our lives rather than getting bogged down by the equations and details.

Beyond myself, I often wonder where the scientific field would be if it were more inclusive from the beginning. Especially considering that it’s 2022 and the STEM workforce is only 28 percent female, according to the American Association of University Women.

Of the sciences listed:

  • Engineers and Architects have the least amount of females at 16.5 percent.
  • Females make up just over a quarter (25.5 percent) of Computer and Mathematical occupations.
  • Chemists and Materials scientists are only 40.4 percent females, and
  • Biological Scientists have the most female scientists at 46 percent, which is good but still less than half.

However, even with 4 percent to go, these female biological scientists are showing the world how much more STEM fields can achieve when they’re open to more diverse…



Katrina Paulson
Irrelevant Matters

I wonder about humanity, questions with no answers, and new discoveries. Then I write about them here and on substack!