"Our politics in Congress has become tribal in some ways. We have the tribe of the Democrats and tribe of the Republicans," Bayh said, appearing on CNN's State of the Union with Democrat Jon Corzine, a former New Jersey governor and senator, and Republican Susan Molinari, a former House member from New York.
In discussing partisanship, Molinari said that "women have a tendency to band together a little bit more than the men."
Bayh interjected: "It's testosterone poisoning; it's not our fault."
"You said it. I didn't," Molinari joked in response.
Bayh, who stunned Democrats last week when he announced he will not seek re-election in November, spoke about why he believes Congress can't get much done.
"Well, the culture really has changed," Bayh told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.
"We have a lot of wonderful people, well-meaning people, but they're trapped in a system that's dysfunctional," said Bayh, whose father also served in the Senate.
The Indiana Democrat faulted the culture of Congress and political fundraising. "Back in my father's day, there was a lot more interaction. You had friendships across the aisle regardless of partisanship, regardless of ideology," said Bayh.
Corzine was even more blunt in his analysis.
"Winning has become the objective more than problem solving or the common good," the New Jersey Democrat told Crowley. "And I think it infects both sides. I don't think it's one side or the other. And so everything is focused on the election outcomes and people have lost track that sometimes good people do things that may not be as politically attractive."
For her part, Molinari was less critical of Capitol Hill.
"I still think Washington is a pretty good place with some terrific people working here," she said.
Follow Martina Stewart on Twitter: @MMStewartCNN