now you can blame plastic for it
BPA exposure makes male mice less masculine, attractive
Male mice who are exposed in the womb to bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical compound found in some hard plastics and can linings, appear to be less masculine and less attractive to females once they mature, raising the possibility that the controversial chemical could subtly affect boys in similar ways.
In a new study, male deer mice whose mothers were fed BPA while pregnant had more difficulty navigating a maze and displayed less interest in exploring than unexposed males – a sign of “demasculinization,” researchers say, since navigational skill and a propensity for exploration are considered classic male traits in this particular species of mice. (In the wild, these traits help young male mice find potential mates.)
What’s more, this reduction in masculinity appears to make BPA-exposed mice less attractive to those potential mates.
In another experiment, female mice who were released into cages containing two male mice, only one of which was exposed to BPA, spent roughly half as much time in “nose-to-nose contact”-- an expression of sexual interest in the rodent world – with the BPA-exposed mice, perhaps because the females sensed differences in their behavior, pheromones, or both.