Pheromones and sexual attraction

girl_midriff.jpgTwo recent studies have revealed the complex interactions between pheromones, sexual orientation and attraction – suggesting that our sense of smell may be an important part of the turn-on.

Psychologists Charles Wysocki and Yolanda Martins have been studying the effect of human pheromones in an experiment where they asked participants to judge odour from a cloth wiped across the body.

In particular, participants were asked to guess sexual orientation from the person’s scent.

Wysocki found that gay men preferred odours from gay men and heterosexual women, whereas odours from gay men were found least attractive by women and straight men.

A possible biological basis for this effect has been suggested by a brain scanning study completed by a research team led by Ivanka Savic Berglund.

Berglund found that male pheromones caused similar brain activity in gay men as it did in straight women, although the effect was not found in straight men.

A similar brain activity pattern was found for straight men however, but only when they were exposed to an oestrogen based chemical.

Even the fine-grained preferences of individuals might be important. Research by Claus Wedekind has suggested that such preferences are optimised to match-up people with complementary genes for immunity.

Link to article on Wysocki’s body odour study from plebius.org
Link to article on Berglund’s brain scanning study from New Scientist.
Link to article on smell and sexual attraction from Psychology Today.

4 thoughts on “Pheromones and sexual attraction”

  1. No Duh

    Courtesy of Mind Hacks…
    Psychologists Charles Wysocki and Yolanda Martins have been studying the effect of human pheromones in an experiment where they asked participants to judge odour from a cloth wiped across the body.
    In particular, partici…

  2. Very interesting article, i have found pheromones to be
    very useful to me personally, however deciding on the best has prooven to be
    quite difficult, so i found some
    pheromone review to help me decide which pheromone to use.

  3. Very interesting article, i have found pheromones to be
    very useful to me personally, however deciding on the best has prooven to be
    quite difficult, so i found some
    pheromone
    review to help me decide which pheromone to use.

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