Mateo, J.M., Holmes, W. G., Bell, A. M., & Turner, M. 1994. Sexual maturation in male prairie voles: Effects of the social environment. Physiology & Behavior , 56, 299-304.
The effects of various social contexts on sexual maturation in captive male prairie voles were investigated. Sexual maturity was assessed as the ability of a young male to produce urine capable of activating a diestrous adult female into estrus, as females remain anestrus until they ingest a male urinary chemosignal. In five experiments the postweaning social environments of developing males were manipulated (e.g., presence or absence of dam, sire, or junior litter, exposure to unfamiliar adult voles, social isolation) to determine if the age at which males begin to produce potent urine was sensitive to social effects. In general, there was no difference in the age of potent urine production as a function of social environment. Findings are discussed in the context of dispersal, inbreeding avoidance, and mate acquisition.