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- Can gay men and women really sense each other by smell? | Science | The Guardian
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10 Hygiene Habits That Will Drive A Gay Men Wild
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Can gay men and women really sense each other by smell? | Science | The Guardian
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But both findings suggest that the hypothalamus is organized in a way related to sexual orientation. The new finding, if confirmed, would break ground in two important directions, those of human pheromones and human sexuality. Mice are known to influence each other's sexual behavior through emission of chemicals that act like hormones on the recipient's brain and so are known as pheromones. Hopes by the fragrance industry, among others, of finding human pheromones were dashed several years ago when it emerged that a tiny structure in the nose through which mice detect many pheromones, the vomeronasal organ, is largely inactive in humans, having lost its nervous connection with the brain.
Researchers interpreted that to mean that humans, as they evolved to rely on sight more than smell, had no need of the primitive cues that pass for sexual attractiveness in mice.
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But a role for human pheromones could not be ruled out, especially in light of findings that women living or working together tend to synchronize their menstrual cycles. View all New York Times newsletters.
Some researchers see Dr. Savic's work as strong evidence in favor of human pheromones. They do," wrote the authors of a commentary in Neuron about Dr. Savic's report of Catherine Dulac, a Harvard University biologist who studies pheromones in mice, said that if a chemical modified the function of the hypothalamus, that might be enough to regard it as a pheromone. She said the Swedish study was extremely interesting, even though "humans are a terrible experimental subject.
If human pheromones do exist, Dr. Savic's approach may allow insights into how the brain is organized not just for sexual orientation but also for sexuality in general. Dean Hamer, a geneticist at the National Institutes of Health. The different pattern of activity that Dr. Savic sees in the brains of gay men could be either a cause of their sexual orientation or an effect of it.
If sexual orientation has a genetic cause, or is influenced by hormones in the womb or at puberty, then the neurons in the hypothalamus could wire themselves up in a way that permanently shapes which sex a person is attracted to. Alternatively, Dr. Savic's finding could be just a consequence of straight and gay men's using their brain in different ways. Savic said. But the technique might provide an answer, Dr. A recent study found that women preferred the body odor of men who ate a lot of fruits and vegetables, whereas men who ate a lot of refined carbohydrates think bread, pasta gave off a smell that was less appealing.
At first, I was, too. I thought this line of inquiry must have been dreamed up by the produce industry. Makes a good marketing campaign, right? But it's legit. He studies evolution, genetics and psychology and is an author of the study. From an evolutionary perspective, scientists say our sweat can help signal our health status and could possibly play a role in helping to attract a mate.
They began by recruiting a bunch of healthy, young men. They assessed the men's skin using an instrument called a spectrophotometer. When people eat a lot of colorful veggies, their skin takes on the hue of carotenoids, the plant pigments that are responsible for bright red, yellow and orange foods. The spectrophotometer "flashes a light onto your skin and measures the color reflected back," says Stephen. The results are "a good indicator of how much fruits and vegetables we're eating," he says.
Stephen and his colleagues also had the men in the study complete food frequency questionnaires so they could determine the men's overall patterns of eating. Then the men were given clean T-shirts and asked to do some exercise. Afterward, women in the study were asked to sniff the sweat.
The methodology was much more scientific and precise than my breezy explanation, but you get the picture.