Trust the science. Don't trust the hype

The Scent of a Woman: Don’t trust the hype about pheromones and sexual attraction.

“Doty refers to a 2004 study on sheep that interrogated the long-held assumption that females ovulate in the presence of males, most likely due to pheromones. The researchers put lavender on the males and after a few mating sessions, the females began ovulating from the scent of lavender alone. The findings suggest that the females’ hormonal response was an acquired behavior, rather than an innate one.”

In the excerpt quoted above, Doty or an ignorant article author turned the effect of pheromones on luteinizing hormone (LH) into an acquired behavior due to lavender. Trust me, or read it yourself: The 2004 study on sheep demonstrates that ewes learn to associate lavender odor with their sexual partner. A 2010 study shows this association is made via an effect on LH. A 2011 study reports that the effect on LH is linked to testosterone levels of the male, and results soon to be published show the effect of the testosterone-associated pheromones on female behavior is not due to the visual appeal of the male, and that sexual experience is not required (in goats).

Where’s the hype about pheromones that you can’t trust? Four additional studies show exactly the opposite of what we’re told in the article. It’s the pheromones that alter LH and behavior in the sheep (and all other mammals). The effect of food odor on LH is not due to the visual appeal of the food, either.

Trust the science!

Androstenol effects LH in women. It is found in male axillary secretions, which influence LH and mood in women.

We used a mixture of androstenol (which effects LH), and androsterone, (which is an indicator of testosterone levels), to make a man more visually appealing. Earlier this year, our results were presented to other scientists at the Association for Chemoreception Sciences conference. We showed that a mixture of androstenol and androsterone increased women’s observed flirtatious behavior and their self-reported level of attraction. Our results indicate androsterone, which is associated with testosterone levels in human males, affects behavior during 15-minutes of exposure in a typical social circumstance.

Those who understand anything about the biology of behavior will recognize the suspected effect on LH and the demonstrable behavioral affect are expected when testing either food odors or social odors. The social odors are pheromones. Adding human pheromones (specifically, our mixture of androstenol and androsterone) increases sex appeal the same way adding spice increases the appeal of food. Not everyone will respond favorably to all pheromones or all spices, but the effect on hormones and affects on behavior are very predictable. Only a fool would argue against cause and effect with regard to pheromones in any species.

Who’s fooling who about human pheromones, sexual attraction, and who you can trust?

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