Ethics, aphrodisiacs, and pheromones

Q. What is the difference between an aphrodisiac and an effect of chemicals that cause sexual excitement? Should an ethical “line” be drawn in terms of what changes can be deliberately brought about in another person as a way to accomplish some goal?

A. The cosmetic industry has set the standard, albeit with products that elicit affects on behavior via some unknown mechanism, which is not modeled in any other animal species. To some sensory psychologists, human visual appeal simply exists in the absence of any biological basis. In constrast, the behavior of other animals is driven by the effect of pheromones on hormones. Because the biologically based effects of pheromones on hormones is modeled across all animal species, it is extremely likely that pheromone-enhanced products have even more potent affects on behavior than does visual enhancement.

Meanwhile, cosmetic industry experts and most people accept modulation of the perception of biologically important signals when attempts are made to enhance visual appeal. But, since no one has drawn the line at breast augmentation or labiaplasty, I’m not likely to draw the line on goal-seeking via pheromone-enhancement. That would be like telling people not to use spices to increase the appeal of food, or not to develop pheromones for use as non-invasive therapy that replaces neural stem cell transplants into the brain of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease.


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