A new report says that children whose mothers consumed alcohol during pregnancy may be more likely to be involved in early and inappropriate sexual activity, UPI reported Nov. 3.
A study on laboratory rats found that those given alcohol while pregnant had offspring that engaged in sexual activity more often than the offspring of rats not exposed to alcohol.
"Our study is the first to report that alcohol exposure during development can cause abnormal sexual behavior when those rats reach adulthood," said Justin Gass, a researcher in neuropsychology at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. "Although the specific sexual behaviors between humans and rats differ, the brain systems that control these behaviors are similar."
The researchers found that the female offspring of rats who were exposed to alcohol were more likely to exhibit abnormal sexual behavior compared to males.
"I think alcohol in pregnancy somehow affects the pleasure centers of the brain in the offspring and that may affect behavior," said Gass.
The study's findings were announced at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.