How do pheromones work in humans? This is the question that has been bothering scientists for ages. Some even go as far as to claim that there are no human pheromones. Here, we will take a look at what they are, how they work, and how pheromones can be used to find your match.
What Are Pheromones?
Pheromones are chemicals that many animals produce, which are capable of changing the behavior of other members of the species. While the primary goal of pheromones is to affect sexual behavior, many people don’t know that there are other effects as well.
The primary difference between pheromones and hormones is that the later ones affect the person secreting them internally. Unlike other hormones, pheromones are secreted outside the body. This way, they affect other people in our surroundings.
What is the purpose of these hormones? There are numerous different ways pheromones can affect other members of the same species. For instance, they can serve as a signal or alarm, pointing out the incoming danger. Pheromones can also signal a food trail, mark territory, and of course, trigger sexual arousal.
Interestingly, pheromones can affect the menstrual cycle as well. You have probably heard how women who spend time together, whether they are friends, partners, or family members, will notice their menstrual cycles have synchronized. This happens thanks to pheromones.
During the seventies, a doctor discovered that women who have regular sex also have regular menstrual cycles. Having intercourse will slow the decline of estrogen and make women more fertile.
However, the main problem with every research so far is that we still don’t have enough information. Humans don’t have VNO or vomeronasal organs, which animals use to help them find a mate. It is also unclear how pheromones affect us, and there is an obvious gap in our knowledge.
Of course, what we do know is that smells play an important role in finding a partner. Whether it is subconscious or not, the only way to find a perfect spouse is to follow your nose.
Meeting Your Match
Since we have already mentioned a perfect partner, let’s take a closer look at this subject. This is where things get interesting. In 2005, a group of scientists conducted some research. The idea behind it was to test whether pheromones are real and how smells affect humans.
They found people of different sexualities and gave them anonymous scent samples. It turned out that gay men preferred the scent of other men, while heterosexual men picked the scent of women. They concluded that our noses are capable of finding a perfect mate.
In the continuation of the research, they gave T-shirts worn by different men to a group of women. The results showed that ladies preferred a scent (or a man) that had significantly different DNA than they did. The biology behind it is to ensure that their future child has a robust immune system.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should go around smelling people and that this is the only important thing you should consider when picking a mate. It just shows that scent can be rather important, even if it’s on subconscious levels.
It’s rather interesting how two people can perceive the same smell in a completely different way. For one person, it can be pleasing or even sexy, while another will find it repulsive. According to science, people who smell the best to us are those who have different immunity to diseases compared to us. Our brains are still hardwired to look after future generations, and sexual orientation or the fact that you might not want to have children will play no role in it.
Other Uses of Pheromones
Even though we are not yet fully aware of how pheromones work (at least for humans), there are a couple of ideas that might prove to be rather exciting. Since we have already mentioned the connection between pheromones and menstrual cycles, scientists have suggested other connections as well.
There’s an idea to use pheromones as a fertility treatment for all couples who are unable to have children in any other way. At the same time, they could act as contraceptives for people who don’t want to have kids. Similarly, some claim that these hormones could act as a stimulant for those experiencing sexual problems, and they could also act as a mood enhancer.
Of course, the most far-fetching theory is that pheromones could be used to control prostate activity and lower the chances of developing cancer. It is obvious that pheromones can change the way we perceive someone, and there are theories that they could affect the laws of attraction.
You are probably aware that some companies have tried to pursue this idea, and they used pheromones in perfumes. The idea was, of course, to make the wearer more attractive. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work as intended since they used animal pheromones.
It remains to be seen whether scientists will discover more about these hormones. So far, we can tell that as a species, our olfactory system (the sense of smell) is not as developed as in other mammals. We don’t use our noses nearly as much as other animals, but we can still detect pheromones in the air. So just remember — if someone smells really nice, they might be a perfect match for you.