MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: Pheromone and its known and possible effects on testosterone.

Date: Sun Oct 23 10:08:02 2011
Posted By: dave armstrong, Faculty, Biology,Bath College
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1312590124.Gb

Pheromones are simply external hormones. As you mention “species”, I presumed you are after a zoological pheromone, rather than the tired human question of ovulation cycles turning on men---eg. from “Scent of a Woman” (from Psychological Science) by Saul L. Miller and Jon K. Maner.
“The current research provides evidence that ovulatory cues are detectable via chemosensory signalling and, moreover, that these cues are linked with functionally relevant endocrinological responses in men.” Androstadienone from male sweat directly affects LH, the female luteinizing hormone, which “tunes” ovulation. What endocrinological response in men can be proved is still shrouded in researches and counter-research.

Looking at male guinea pigs and others however, there is little apart from direct gonadal hormone stimulation of the scent gland. At least the un-dramatic animal only stimulates the maintenance of its own scent gland. For the human elements among us, there will always be an argument as to whether women and men can use perfume with the pheromones of the opposite sex. Commercial groups would never let that one die!

So plausible it is, as you say. Now worry about how the men could respond to a female pheromone, or just get on with life without knowing what is truth and what is advertising.

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