Strange females increase plasma testosterone levels in male mice

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Science  26 Sep 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4208, pp. 1104-1106
DOI: 10.1126/science.1162363


Male house mice paired with a normal female for 1 week do not have higher plasma testosterone levels than do males that remain in all-male groups, but paired males have markedly elevated testosterone levels 30 to 60 minutes after the resident female is replaced by another female. Elevation of testosterone levels in these males is similar to that in isolated males paired with a female, does not depend on copulation with the strange female, occurs under housing conditions that permit continuous exposure to the odors of other females and males, and does not occur when the resident female is replaced by another male for 30 to 60 minutes. The elevation thus appears to be a specific endocrine response to an encounter with a strange female. These results, along with previous findings suggesting that strange males affect endocrine function in females, indicate that bisexual encounters are likely to produce endocrine changes in members of both sexes.