Sexual Behaviors

Overview and Meaning

In general, the purpose of a sexual interaction is reproduction. In order for copulation to take place, there must first be sexual motivation between mates. Sexual motivation can be seen by posture in the female and by three different maneuvers: crawl-over, crawl-under, and push-past. After sexual motivation is present, the male mouse will 1) explore the potential mate, 2) pursue her, 3) mount her, 4) copulate and 5) finish with a self post-copulatory grooming session. It is important to note that the female may discontinue the sexual encounter at any point during the male's interaction sequence.


Sexual Behaviors are a top-level classification, reflecting a behavior chain of individual goal-directed behaviors, which behavior typically follows a two-to-four-stage sequence:

  1. Sexual Motivation
  2. Sexual Exploring
  3. Female response and posture to male exploring
  4. Sexual Pursuing
  5. Copulatory Mounting
  6. Copulating
  7. Post-copulatory Groom


General Activity