12:30 20 March 2002 by Philip Cohen, San Francisco
A dab of artificial sweat can hugely increase your chance for romance, say researchers in California. They found that a commercial synthetic "pheromone" tripled the sexual success of women.
Psychologist Norma McCoy and her student Lisa Pitino at San Francisco State University found in a study of 36 women that sexual behaviour with men was three times as high in women who added a sexy chemical to their perfume, compared to women who received a placebo.
McCoy believes the additive, known only as Athena Pheromone 10:13, is making them more attractive to men. She rules out an alternative explanation, that the pheromone is increasing sexual drive, because masturbation was not increased.
"It's a very impressive study with data that looks incredible," says Joan Friebely of Harvard University who is now looking at the effect of the same pheromone in post-menopausal women (click for more on this second independent study). But other experts say it is difficult to make sense of the experiment until 10:13 - whose composition is a trade secret - is revealed.
Pheromones are chemicals that animals emit to attract sexual attention. They are crucial to the mating behaviour of many insects and their existence has been firmly established in mice and hamsters.
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COMMENT FROM ATHENA INSTITUTE: Both Athena Pheromone 10:13tm for women and Athena Pheromone 10Xtm for men are cosmetics that can increase your attractiveness to the opposite sex. Neither product is an “aphrodisiac.”