Women Can Smell a Man's Intentions
Mary Richard | January 10, 2009 at 11:05 pmby
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Recent research has shown that socio-emotional meanings, including sexual ones, are conveyed in human sweat. Researchers at the Rice University in Texas found that women can subconsciously sniff out men who are attracted to them.
Scientists have long debated whether humans, like animals, use chemical signals called pheromones to communicate sexual interest to potential mates. Problem is, the effects of pheromones are thought to be subconscious — meaning that if we do communicate using them, we sure don't know it. It's also hard to know what these pheromones might be and how we sense them, so researchers understand little about them.
But if human pheromones are going to be anywhere, they're going to be in sweat, right? Denise Chen, a psychologist at Rice University in Houston, and her colleagues devised an experiment to compare how women respond to different forms of male sweat — sweat produced in everyday situations versus that produced when a man is turned on.
The findings bolster the idea that humans do communicate via subconscious chemical signals, notes Chen in her study, which was published in the Dec. 31 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. Our sexual intentions, in other words, may be a lot clearer than we ever intended them to be. That crush you have on your co-worker? She may already know — at least subconsciously.
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