Pheromonally induced sexual maturation in females: regulation by the social environment of the male

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Science  29 Apr 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4289, pp. 545-546
DOI: 10.1126/science.557838


Social subordination, which suppresses gonadal function in juvenile and adult male house mice, also suppresses the activity of an androgen-dependent urinary pheromone that accelerates the rate of sexual maturation in juvenile females. Pheromone production may also be suppressed by the presence of pregnant or lactating females. This suggests that the social environment may influence the fertility of population females by altering urinary pheromone activity in the male.