Chemical signals in women

September 3rd, 2009

A pheromone is a chemical signal that sets off a natural response in a member of the same species. Female pheromones have a variety of effects on women and men, depending on the type of pheromone, the time in which the pheromone’s odor is released, and in some cases the sexual orientation of the woman. Few studies have been published that hold validity, due to the fact that female pheromone studies have factors that are hard to control. Because of this, it is difficult to be sure that any study on female pheromones is well founded.

However, the most well known study involves the synchronization of female menstrual cycles, the primary researcher of that case being Martha McClintock. In that study, it was found that womens’ menstrual cycles are likely to either speed up or slow down when they are exposed to the perspiration of a woman who is currently on her menstrual cycle. Another study suggested that when exposed to androstadienone, the level of cortisol in women was maintained. Androstadienone is a component of male sweat. Therefore it is likely that when a woman is exposed to this sometimes unconscious odor, female pheromones make it to where she is more likely to be attracted to a man who she may not have been attracted to otherwise.

Female sex pheromones are released in order to either inform a member of the opposite sex that the man or woman releasing the pheromone is breeding or fertile, or to attract a mate. It is also theorized that female sex pheromones aid in the process of fertilization on a microscopic level. In females, sex pheromones help to guide the male’s sperm along to the female egg for fertilization. Pheromones released by a male tend to increase sexual arousal in women as well. However, if a woman is homosexual, she is more likely to be less affected by the pheromones of a male, thus suggesting that homosexuality has a biological basis. Female pheromones are a vital part of how women operate on a biological and physical level. They affect everything from who women find attractive, to when their menstrual cycles start, among many other things.

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