Often I am asked why I studied psychology in college. People often think you get a psych degree so you can analyze others or figure out what your own personal disorder is and while those are some fun perks, I found myself looking to psychology as a way of understanding the mechanics behind social interactions. There are a lot of unwritten rules that govern human beings as a species and the more I learned about our psychological make up the more interested I became in learning why we do the things we do in social groups.
With that being said I am going to now give you a sample of some the work I’ve done while receiving a secondary education and what I hope to continue studying only with a lot of grant money in my pocket so I can travel while I do it…
The Direct Correlation between sense of smell and mating in the human population
Points to be discussed:
- the unconscious use of the olfactory sense during the process of mate selection
- the existence of human pheromones
- and the possible correlation between scent and arousal.
The Olfactory sense or the sense of smell is probably one of the least understood of all the senses but if my hypothesis proves correct, it is a crucial part to the mating process. When it comes to attraction between the sexes it is often about chemical reactions, which include a scent that people emit unconsciously when in the presence of someone they are interested in.
“Starting at puberty, feasts of aromatic chemicals that make up our individual “odor-prints” communicate our sexual compatibility. This continues through our fertile lives and is perceived by others on an unconscious level.”(Nalls)
In Nalls’s article on dating and olfaction she goes on to discuss that it was long accepted by evolutionary biologists that humans pick mates by smelling them the same way animals do in nature. They concluded that it comes down to MHC or major histocompatability complex.
The MHC molecules play an important role in the immune system and it has been stated that most women pick a partner whose immune system varies from their own thereby ensuring genetic variation.
Now let us discuss the affects of pheromones. According to sources, recent studies suggest that human beings – like other animals – produce, send out and respond to odorless substances called pheromones. Some researchers are looking into the theory that these substances may be the reason that you choose or reject a potential partner. Defined as “airborne chemicals that are released into the environment”, pheromones work as key triggers to sexual arousal. In a study by the psychology department at San Francisco State University a significantly greater proportion of pheromone users compared with placebo users increased over baseline in frequency of sexual intercourse, sleeping next to a partner, formal dates and petting/affection/kissing. During this study they found that social-sexual behavior increased by as much as 74%.
Hope you enjoyed that bit of sexy science
Amber Mosby “Forgive me if I don’t get excited…”