Scent May Play a Role In Picking Sex Partners
Not sure if he’s the one? Sniff him. In two recent studies, women ranked a man’s scent as the most important feature for determining whether or not they’d be inclined to pick him for a lover.
As it turns out, scent may be the main way in which women literally sniff out genetic compatibility with a potential mate. How we smell is an external expression of the genes that make up our immune system.
Like fingerprints, each of us has our own unique “odor print,” which is part of a region of genes known as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Women prefer the scent of men whose MHCs are different from their own.
In one study, a wide variety of men were each asked to wear the same T-shirt for two days in a row, after which the shirts were put into identical boxes. Various women were then asked to smell the shirts and to indicate which they thought would have the most sexually attractive wearers, based on the smell. The results showed that women were most attracted to men with an MHC most dissimilar from their own, while T-shirts worn by guys with similar MHC profiles tended to be rated as “fatherly” or “brotherly” but not sexually attractive. And in a survey conducted by the research firm Strategy One, 56 percent of women said they wouldn’t date a guy who smells like their dad.
What do you think? Did your nose lead you to your mate?