Discovery Canada interview with Jane Gilbert

Airdate: 3/21/02.

Major Canadian TV Network Interviews Dr. Winnifred Cutler on Published Independent Study of Athena 10:13 for Women Discovery Canada airs 3/21/02 - Dr. Cutler fields question on significance of Dr. Norma McCoy's San Francisco State University Study Published in Scientific Journal, Physiology and Behavior (March 02).

Interview Transcribed in full

Host: Jane Gilbert
Guest: Dr. Winnifred Cutler

Jane: Joining us from Chester Springs, PA is Dr. Winnifred Cutler (click for bio). Dr. Cutler, just what is this special ingredient that the women had in their perfume?

WC: This is the Athena Pheromone 10:13 for women (click for product info) . It's a female sex attractant, about a teaspoon of fluid. It has no odor and it's added to about 2 ounces of a woman's perfume.

Jane: So what's the natural role for this chemical?

WC: I think we haven't begun to learn the full scope of it. What we do know so far is this chemical serves to announce to the world, 'here's an attractive woman'. And the way women experience it when they wear it on a regular basis, men are more attentive to them.

The kinds of behaviors that Dr. McCoy reported were behaviors like sleeping next to a romantic partner, hugging, petting, kissing, sexual intercourse, formal dating - that is women were asked out in advance by appointment. These were single women around 27 years old so in that particular population one of the things they measured, and got very remarkable results, were women who were wearing pheromones got asked out on dates more often.

Jane: Staying with the pheromone for a moment, how did you come to find it in the first place?(click for more on pheromone discovery)

WC: It's about 30 years of research now. It began with my studies that were examining how a women's pattern of sexual behavior effects her fertility. And we had learned back in the early to mid seventies that a woman who has regular, minimum, weekly - never misses a week, of intimate exposure to a man, circulates twice as much estrogen, is more fertile, ages more slowly. She gets a number of benefits from regular exposure to a romantic relationship. And we went looking in the early 80's for 'what was it' that a man provided for a woman that, left to her own devises, was not sufficient. What was there about the relationship that was triggering these effects.

And we searched for pheromones because of the animal literature that had preceded us by about 50 years. We knew that in nature, animals communicate romantically - well, we wouldn't call them romantic would we - but we know that in nature animals communicate availability for reproduction. They communicate they're ready, and they're ripe, and they're interested.

And some animals are more successful in luring the opposite sex to them than other animals. And we've learned that the essential chemical of that success seems to be pheromones.

(Camera footage shows clip of male lion pursuing a female lion)

WC continues: In humans we've found them in the underarm, in other animals they are located in other parts. And they seem to be species specific, so a pig pheromone will be very attractive to a pig, in humans it will be sort of a 'keep away', it will be aversive. (Jane laughs).

Jane: So pheromones were indeed used in the San Francisco Study. Can you give us a quick outline of just what the study found?

WC: Yes. Six behaviors were measured. Each woman had a daily calendar which you can look at (Camera footage shown of behavior calendar). And that provided a way for her to check off each day, each of those behaviors that had occurred. At the end of the study when the code was broken, the finding was that 3 out of 4 of the women who tested pheromones had an increase in at least 3 of the 4 intimate behaviors that were being measured. Those were really startlingly higher than among the placebo users. 3 out of 4 got positive results, 3 of 4 got more romance.

Jane: And the women who entered this study, did they know what the study was about?

WC: Yes, they knew that they were signing up for a study that was designed to test a pheromone that was designed to increase the romance in their life. And they knew they had a 50/50 chance of choosing a placebo or the real thing. And they knew that they would not know until the study ended and the code was broken which product they had tested.

Jane: I am just curious, the results, how much of that could have been swayed by the fact that the women knew they were being analyzed for sexual attractiveness?

WC: It's a very good question. You start out with everyone who is entering a study because they want more romance. 23% of the people who tested the placebo got more romance. They didn't have the pheromone, they were just hoping for it. But 74% of the people who tested the pheromone got more romance. So it was a 3 to 1, that's the difference.

Jane: If we can get back to the actual function of the pheromone, which still as you say is a bit of a mystery. Does the pheromone actually work on the man or does it work on the woman who is wearing it?

WC: I've been wondering that for the last 20 years. We really don't know, what we know is...if you measure, and what I do as a scientist and what the people who test the Athena product in their double-blind studies do, is we test the behavior of the person who is wearing it. Now in this case, the women were the ones testing the product, the behavior - was the behavior with men.

But there was another behavior among the six sociosexual behaviors such as Sleeping Next to a Romantic Partner - which involved them with somebody else. There was also self-stimulation, masturbation, and that behavior did not show an increase in pheromone users.

So we could conclude that pheromones did not cause the women to have a greater interest in that behavior. We could not conclude that the pheromone worked first on him, or first on her because if she put it on her upper lip and she sniffed, we don't really know if whether sniffing the pheromone changed some form of the way she signals. We do know that when she wears the pheromone men are more responsive to her.

Jane: Very interesting. Thanks for telling us about it.

WC: You're welcome.

Jane: We've been speaking to Dr. Winnifred Cutler. She's the founder of Athena Institute, and she joins us from Chester Springs, PA.


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.”

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