What Are Pheromones?
When the term pheromone comes in mind, intentionally or unintentionally you start thinking about animals, but mostly you will tend to link pheromones with the mating of animals. But pheromones have several other uses too. First, you need to know that pheromones are chemicals released outside the body of animals and insects. Physiology and behavior of other animals and insects of same species are affected by the release of pheromones; it is messages sent amongst the same species of animals or insects.
Do Humans Also Produce Pheromones?
Well, the reply is maybe or may not be. Human released certain chemicals which triggers some responses between two humans or more humans. Now if you compare pheromones with hormones, they are similar, but unlike hormones, pheromones are produced outside the body of mammals or insects that secrete them. Therefore, the hormones can only affect the bodies and to be precise can only affect a single mammal or animal, they can’t influence other creatures; whereas, as produced outside the body pheromones can influence other individuals of the same species.
But do humans have pheromones? There isn’t a precise or concrete evidence that humans also produce pheromones. Gustav Jager, a doctor and hygienist from Germany, first came up with the idea that humans too might produce pheromones. He called pheromones as ‘anthropines.’ The University of Chicago also expressed the same opinion; they claimed that women who are living together share synchronized menstrual cycles.
Role of Pheromones For Mammals and Insects:
- To follow food trail
- Informing females to lay eggs in a different place
- Marking territory
- Sexual arousal
- Strengthening bond
- Warning to back off
Pheromones and Their Types:
There are mainly four types of pheromones,
- Releaser pheromones: This type of pheromones gives an immediate, fast and dependable response. For sexual attraction, this type of pheromones is responsible.
- Primer pheromones: This type of pheromones takes some time to get the desired response, like the menstrual response in a group of women.
- Signaler pheromones: This pheromone is responsible for providing signal. Babies recognize their mothers with the help of it.
- Modulator pheromones: They are found in human sweats and is responsible for changing or integrating bodily functions.
Human Armpits and Pheromones
After some stressful event automatically the human armpits sweat, it can be any kind of stress, mental or physical but it is believed that everyone’s armpit sweats, some people may sweat a lot and some very less and some moderately. With the sweat comes a smell, a strong odour, which by many is categorized as a pheromone or pheromone-like chemical as pheromones tend to have a strong odour. Some people get sexually aroused by the odor, and to some people, it stinks. It is believed that the human armpit produces pheromone-like chemicals as an alarm. The armpit does not make a sound but carries out that alarm in a discreet way by releasing the strong odour.
Therefore, back to the question that does human produces pheromones? Sweats with odours can’t make science sure that humans produce pheromones. It is not conclusive evidence. But the products that we are working with and selling in the market seems to work well. The feedback from worldwide customers that we have, received tell us that our product works like magic for them. They are satisfied and will continue to purchase from us, and they swear by our products. Therefore, rather than wondering if pheromones are really produced by the human body or not, it is better if you try our product and see how it works for you. Try pheromone cologne or pheromone perfume; you are going to buy them again and again.
You got to think of it this way; does our product work or not, rather than thinking that human body produces pheromone or not. Which one would matter really?
Human Pheromones: Human Sex Signals
Pete Karlson and Martin Luscher introduced the term ‘pheromone’ in 1959. They introduced it as a form of chemicals, which animals emit and respond to.
Medical researchers are still working on the pheromones and still trying to find out the answer of whether humans do produce chemicals like pheromones. They are trying to find out what kind of response do human pheromones elicit, sexual or behavioral. Researchers are thinking about how the attraction power of pheromones might work on a human.
These days, of course, there is a strong belief that human body does secrete pheromones and that’s a thing that triggers their sexual attraction to their opposite sex and also triggers a behavioral and psychological response in other animals or insects.
Therefore, to be precise scent does produce some kind of response, good or bad, when someone gets a whiff of your scent.
When the vomeronasal organ or shortly said, VNO gets the scent of pheromones which is linked to the olfactory bulbs behind the nose, and the scent travel to the amygdala, which is responsible for emotions in humans and then to the thalamus which spreads it to the whole brain.
In humans there are six types of pheromones:
Androstenone: These molecules are very responsive to sexual attraction. This makes you more attractive to a woman, and it increases sexual desire in a woman.
Androsterone: It is responsible for making you more trustworthy and masculine.
Androstadienone: It is responsible for increasing the feeling of sexual intimacy.
Androstenol: It is responsible for making you look approachable by opposite sex.
Beta-Androstenol: It can be considered an ice-breaker.
Copulin: This is responsible for increasing testosterone level in man.
How Babies and Children React to Pheromones?
In 1959, pheromones were first discovered in silk moths. After that, there were countless studies to determine whether natural pheromones are present in humans too. It is observed that babies and children recognizes their parents or their caretaker without even seeing them, they recognize them via their smell. Just like every other young mammal, human babies too find the breast of their mothers, and also they breastfeed without any prior training from the first day.
A study done by Michael Kalogerakis and Irving Bieber describes that “Olfaction is related to sexual identification in young children.” It means that a child is sexually oriented from very early stage of life. The child, if it is a boy, will start hating the smell of their father and start liking the smell of their mother. This phenomenon is due to a biological trigger for Oedipus response.
Michael J. Russell experimented on ten mothers with their children in 1976. He tried to find out if the babies could recognize their mother from their mother’s smell. After six weeks, he found that 8 out of 10 babies could recognize their mother by smell.
This is a clear indication that the babies have imprinted their mother’s smell or unknowingly the mother leaves a distinct smell on her baby.
A study carried out by Dr Alex Comfort stated that the time spent by a girl with boys is directly related to the time at which she will menstruate. The study shows that if a girl spends more time with boys in their childhood would get menstruation much earlier in their age compared with girls who spend less time with boys in childhood. But there are other issues related to the trigger of menstruation.
Natural Pheromones and Sexual Response
Now, the debate is whether natural pheromones have any influence on the sexual behavior of human beings? As mentioned in different studies and a few examples stated here above, pheromones does have some kind of influence on human behaviors.
A study was conducted by Denise Chen, Psychologist, Rice University in Houston, to find out how would women react to different sweats of men. He got 20 guys who agreed to not use deodorants or any kind of perfumes for a period of time and then with the help of small pads he managed to get the sweat of those guys when aroused and when not aroused. After that 19 women were asked to sniff the pads and they reacted differently.
Using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), Denise Chen found that the areas of the brain responsible for recognizing smell got activated by the “sexual sweats.” Also, the areas of the brain which recognizes the social response and emotions also got activated. Therefore, they concluded that subconscious chemical signals not only acts on mammals and insects but on humans as well.
Besides all the studies mentioned above, many studies done by experts vow for the existence of pheromones in humans, which can be used by men and women to communicate with each other.
As a matter of fact, your brain’s hypothalamus can be turned on with the help of hormone-like smells. For men, this is called as estrogen and for women called as testosterone. This can be easily seen by the way you behave towards someone from your opposite sex. You will find that you behave completely differently towards a person of your same sex. The main question was, does human outer body produce pheromones? The answer is still unknown. Some scientists believe they do, some still deny. This is still under experiment to say human does or human does not. So, the science is undecided on that fact if pheromones exist in humans too, but you also can’t deny that the sweat and smell released from your body has some effect on other, especially on the opposite sex.