Sexy Smells

The results of a recent study indicate that sexual attraction may have a lot to do with smell. Of course it does, you say. After all, no matter how great that guy on the bus might look in his tight jeans, if he smells like he just won the Manure-Flavored Jello Wrestling Championships, there’s no way he’s getting in my pants.

This study actually goes a bit further than just suggesting that smell contributes to sexual attraction. The researchers used positron emission tomography (PET) to monitor the brain activity of a group of lesbian women, heterosexual women, homosexual men, and heterosexual men when exposed to various phermones. They found that the anterior hypothalamus (the part of the brain that regulates metabolic process, that links the nervous system to the endocrine system by secreting brain hormones, and that responds to odor stimuli) of the homosexual men and the heterosexual women was activated when the volunteers were exposed to AND. AND is a progesterone derivative that is found in 10 times higher levels in men’s sweat than in women’s sweat. They also found that the heterosexual men had activity in their hypothalamus when exposed to EST (an estrogen-like molecule found in the urine of pregnant women).

The interesting part for me were the results for the lesbian women. Apparently, the lesbian women responded similarly to both AND and EST, and, although there was activity in the hypothalamus in response to EST, the response was not nearly as strong as it was for the heterosexual men. Comments:

1) It definitely appears that sexual attraction is tied into neurochemical processes in the brain.

2) Sexual attraction seems to be different (regarding the actual brain activity in response to certain phermones) in men then it is in women.

3) This really says nothing about whether homosexuality is learned or genetic, because all of the people studied were adults. However, let’s assume that in 10 years they are able to test infants for their propensity to be attracted to certain male or female scents. Can you imagine how crazy our society would go debating the merits / ethics of such a test?

4) Is it just me, or is it really funny that the two phermones that the researchers picked are found in male sweat and in female urine? I mean, can you really imagine two less “sexy” fluids to be turned on by? At least it wasn’t boogers..

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: