Maternal licking behavior was observed in 20 Long-Evans rat dams on two consecutive days. Stimulus pups were male and female foster pups from dams that were either housed with 5 adult males during the last trimester of pregnancy (stressed) or housed alone (unstressed). Unstressed male pups received significantly more maternal licking than their female siblings, but prenatally stressed males and females received similar levels of maternal licking, comparable to that directed to unstressed females. In a second study, urine collected from prenatally stressed male pups elicited significantly less investigation from dams in a choice test than urine from age-matched unstressed males. It is concluded that the chemosignals which stimulate dams normally to provide more maternal attention to male than female neonates are deficient in prenatally stressed males. The results raise the possibility that differential maternal care may mediate some effects of prenatal stress on behavioral development in males.