Defining pheromone

Earlier today, I discovered a change to what Google displays as the definition of a “pheromone.”

a chemical substance produced and released into the environment by an animal, especially a mammal or an insect, affecting the behavior or physiology of others of its species.

See for comparison the Wikipedia entry:

Excerpt: Their use among insects has been particularly well documented. In addition, some vertebrates and plants communicate by using pheromones.

My comment: The difference in the definitions can be compared in the context of two books: The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality


Scientists have long known that chemical communication via pheromones is a powerful influence on how animals develop, mate, bond, and nurture their offspring. Human animals are no exception. Pheromones, explain the authors, alter hormone levels, can accelerate puberty, control women’s menstrual cycles, influence our choice in a mate, and even influence our sexual orientation. They help us tell lovers and family members from strangers and are essential to the mother-infant bond. Pheromones influence how often we have sex, and with whom. They influence how the brain develops, what we remember, and how we learn.

See for comparison: Product Description: The Great Pheromone Myth


…renowned olfaction expert Richard L. Doty rejects this idea and states bluntly that — in contrast to insects — pheromones in mammals do not exist.

My comment: From the time I met him, which was soon after publication of “The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality, Dick claimed he was writing a book about human pheromones. I could not have imagined that he would deny that fact that mammalian pheromones exist.

What kind of biologically uninformed social scientist does such a thing, but also fails to mention any of the accumulated evidence for the epigenetic effects of human pheromones that was published in my subsequent works? Hopefully, Richard L. Doty will tell us more about the hopes he had to eliminate the fact that mammalian pheromones, including human pheromones, obviously exist.

See also: Excerpt: MHC-influenced chemosignals are mammalian …

About James V. Kohl 1308 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society