Scent and Sexual Attraction Can your body scent play a role in attracting potential partners? Can it communicate your attraction to the opposite sex without saying a single word and does it play a role in your sex life as well? Well, you may be interested to know that it may. So, while scientists formerly ruled that human pheromones do not exist, they are now taking a closer look at the issue and are uncovering some very compelling evidence that may prove the existence of human pheromones.
What the Experts Say about Human Pheromones
While the presence of pheromones in animals has been proven and accepted for decades, scientists are clearly divided on the issue whether such chemicals also play a role in our lives. Some experts contend that unlike animals, humans simply do not have the ability to communicate by scent. We do not have vomeronasal organ (VNO), the two little pits responsible for detecting pheromone scents nor an olfactory bulb in our brains. Or so they thought.
Using high-tech microscopes, experts from the University of Utah discovered two tiny pits along the septum inside the human nose. After subjecting these pits to the test, experts found out Scent and Sexual Attraction that they are lined with receptor cells that actively respond to certain substances. What’s even more interesting is the fact that the subjects swear that they do not smell anything different as the experiment was taking place. However, they cannot deny that they experienced a general feeling of well-being while the experiment was being conducted.
As for the olfactory bulb in our brains, well, researchers discovered that we do have them. It was simply so well concealed within our frontal cortex that earlier scientists failed to see them.
Some Interesting Scent and Sexual Attraction Discoveries
Did you know that the scent emitted by males of the human species can help a woman choose a potential partner? According to the results of a research conducted at the University of Bern in Switzerland, the chemicals secreted by the male’s apocrine glands have a direct effect on a female’s behavior, particularly when it comes to finding a potential mate.
During the course of the research, experts recruited 100 college students of both sexes from different schools to minimize the probability of them knowing each other. The males were provided with untreated cotton shirts that they will wear to sleep for two consecutive nights. The shirts were kept in sealed plastic containers during the day.
To eliminate the chance that outside factors will skew the results of the experiment, the guys were told to avoid using deodorants and perfumed soaps. They were also advised to avoid eating spicy foods, smoking, drinking and engaging in any sexual activities.
On the other side of the fence, the female subjects were told to use nasal spray to protect their mucous membrane two weeks before the actual ‘smell test’ which coincided with the time they are ovulating. After sniffing the shirts of the male volunteers, the women were asked to rate each shirt for sexiness, pleasantness and intensity of smell.
Needless to say, the results were very revealing.
The researchers discovered that women prefer men who have MHC profiles (a segment of the DNA structure that is responsible for detecting disease) that are significantly dissimilar from their own. The female subjects also told researchers that the scents they rated highly for sexiness remind them of past or current lovers.
On the other hand, another study indicated that women who are taking the pill usually prefer men who have the same MHC profile.
Additionally, a research conducted by a team of experts at the Rice University in Houston discovered that a woman reacts in different ways to a man’s sweat. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) indicated that after sniffing the sweat produced when a man is aroused, the female subjects’ right orbitofrontal cortex and the right fusiform cortex (brain areas responsible for recognizing emotions and perceiving things) were activated. When presented with a man’s normal sweat, however, the same results were not observed. (Journal of Neuroscience, December 2008)
So, did this answer your questions about pheromones and the role they play in your love life? I hope it helped at least!