Sexually Rejected Male Fruit Flies Turn to Alcohol

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Fruit flies and men, not so different after all?

Be honest, guys, you've all been there before: Rejected by the object of your heart's desire, you decide to seek a little cocktail consolation. An unexpected sympathizer of your plight? The male fruit fly, who apparently is drawn to booze when faced with sexual rejection. Kid you not.

Per a new study by the researchers at the Herberstein Lab at the University of California, San Francisco, male fruit flies that had been rejected drank, on average, four times more than those that had successfully mated. In the experiment, 24 male fruit flies were put in one of two situations — either in a vial with female fruit flies ready to mate or with one with female fruit flies who already had. Then, after four days, they were given the opportunity to choose between plain food and food that had been spiked with alcohol.

Lead researcher on the study, Galit Shohat-Ophir, explained to Science, "You see that the mated males actually have an aversion to the alcohol-containing food, and the rejected males have a high preference to that food with alcohol."

Generally speaking, the study was looking to better understand the brain's "reward" pathway functionality, and "trying to get into the molecular mechanisms of what makes social interaction rewarding for animals."

So go ahead, scorned male, take a swig of that stiff drink — science is telling you it's a natural, normal thing.