The purpose of the present studies was to examine whether gender differences could be observed in an important aspect of morphine's pharmacology: its reinforcing properties. Our results showed that morphine served as a positive reinforcing agent in both male and female rats in a place conditioning paradigm, but that the dose-response curves displayed marked sex-related differences. At doses from 0.2 up to 10.0 mg/kg, morphine induced an equally strong preference for the drug-associated chamber in males and females. However, as the dose was increased from 10-17.5 mg/kg, morphine ceased to act as a positive reinforcer in males. In contrast, a very strong preference for the morphine-associated chamber was still observed in females at doses up to 30 mg/kg. No gender differences in the blood and brain levels of morphine were observed subsequent to morphine administration during the conditioning phase, suggesting that pharmacokinetic factors were not involved in the sex-related differences observed. Consequently, these results suggest that there are intrinsic sex-linked differences in the doses of morphine that can induce a preference for the drug-associated chamber in a place-conditioning paradigm that are most likely related to differences in the sensitivity of the central nervous system to morphine's reinforcing properties in males and females.