A lot of people talk about pheromones and their ability to attract others. However, there is quite a bit of misinformation around the topic, and scientists themselves don’t know much about them. This article will give you a brief introduction to everything scientists know about pheromones, including what they are and what they do.
What are Pheromones?
Pheromones are hormones that can elicit reactions in others of the same species. For example, they can elicit a fight response or influence the species to be more collaborative.
However, the type of pheromones that are most well known is sex pheromones which, as you probably guessed, help with attracting a mate. It is these pheromones that are the primary focus of this article.
Scientists have found that many animals, such as moths and goats, contain pheromones as well as bacteria and plants. However, with humans, the topic is a bit more complicated.
Do Humans Have Pheromones?
Pheromones in humans is a complicated topic. As of yet, scientists have not found pheromones in humans. However, many studies show that humans are attracted to others based on their smell.
For example, one study found that gay men tend to be attracted to anonymous sweat samples from other men but not to samples taken from women. Another study found that women preferred the odors of t-shirts that belong to men whose DNA was sufficiently different enough to increase the likelihood of producing a child with a good immune system.
So while scientists have not found pheromones in humans yet, it is clear that we are attracted to potential mates through smell, just like so many other species are. Furthermore, many scientists believe that much of our communication and interaction is due to the scents we pick up. Hence, research and data seem to point to the existence of pheromones in humans.
What Do Pheromones Do?
Attract Ideal Mates
As mentioned before, pheromones’ primary role is to attract potential mates. However, it goes much deeper than this. Pheromones are supposed to attract you to someone whose genetics and immune system vary greatly from your own. This ensures that any potential offspring are exposed to a wide range of genetics and are immune to as many diseases as possible.
Synchronize Menstrual Cycles
Many people are aware that women who live together often synchronize their menstrual cycles. A study in 2005 found that this may occur because of the potential pheromones in the other women’s sweat. After smelling the sweat of other women, the participants’ menstrual cycles either sped up or slowed down depending on the time of the month.
Potential Treatment for Depression
With the little information researchers have, there is a strong hypothesis that pheromones may be a mood enhancer. If this is the case, then pheromones could potentially be a treatment for depression in the future.
Are There Ways To Produce Pheromones?
Since pheromones have not been discovered in humans yet, this is a difficult question to answer. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of misinformation about pheromones, with some people claiming they definitely exist and can be produced easily.
Even perfumes and colognes mistakenly advertise the ability to produce more pheromones and attract ideal mates. Since pheromones have yet to be discovered in humans, this is false marketing.
However, if pheromones do exist in human sweat, as believed, then regular exercise, washing properly, and maintaining good hygiene should (in theory) produce more pheromones.
You probably shouldn’t try to attract a date this Valentine’s Day simply through the theory of pheromones. Though researchers are actively searching for them, there is no evidence yet that they exist in humans.
Now that you know this be aware of the misinformation spread online and false marketing by perfume companies. Though scent seems to play a pivotal role in our interactions with other humans, there is no evidence that pheromones are the active ingredient.