Male rats were treated daily with 100 μg of the anti-oestrogen ethamoxytriphetol (MER-25) or oil during the first 10 days of life and tested for lordosis behaviour and mounting behaviour as intact adults, after castration and after castration and oestradiol benzoate or testosterone propionate treatment. The MER-25-treated rats showed higher levels of lordosis behaviour than oil-treated rats in all four treatment groups. Under each of these endocrine conditions, except after castration alone, the MER-25-treated rats showed a reduced capacity to ejaculate. Treatment of the neonatal rat with MER-25 reduced body weight in adulthood but did not change the weight of the accessory sexual glands, the testes, the number of cornified papillae on the glans penis or plasma testosterone concentrations during development. The response of the accessory sexual glands and cornified papillae on the glans penis to treatment with oestradiol benzoate or testosterone propionate after castration in adulthood was unaffected by treatment with MER-25. It is suggested that formation of oestrogen in the neonatal male rat brain from testosterone in the circulation inhibits the capacity to show lordosis behaviour and facilitates the capacity to ejaculate in response to gonadal hormone treatment in adulthood.