Siren Song of Pheromones: Chemicals in male sweat can increase the chance of pregnancy

December 1, 1986
Copyright ©1986. US News & World Report

An article in US News & World Report, features Dr. Cutler's 1986 research and codiscovery of human pheromones. Excerpted by Athena Institute

By Stephen Budianksy

A new study will provide grist for a decade’s worth of talk-show and cocktail party chatter, not all of it conducted in tones of sweet reason. Researchers have found that a substance exuded in the sweat of a man can help keep a women's reproductive system in good working order. It’s the first strong proof that chemical signaling between the sexes (click for more on pheromone discovery), something scientists have long observed in lower animals, takes place in humans as well. And the evidence suggests that a woman’s reproductive system may be profoundly altered by scents in the air of which she’s unaware.

The experiment, which was performed by researchers George Preti and Winnifred Cutler (click for bio) eight women who had irregular menstrual cycles to an alcohol solution containing an extract of male sweat. All of the subjects had been having cycles at least three days longer or shorter than the normal 29+- days. After about three months of having the solution rubbed under their noses several times a week, the women’s cycles shifted closer to the norm.

In lower mammals and especially in insects, these chemicals, known as pheromones, can act as powerful sex attractants. The Monell researchers found evidence that women as well as men produce pheromones -- a fact that seems to explain a long-standing medical mystery.

"It’s a well-reported phenomenon that two women housed together in dormitories will synchronize their menstrual cycles," says Douglas Danforth, a researcher...who studies human reproduction. "But it’s been really hard to determine if it’s chemical {induced} or behavior induced."

In a second experiment, Preti and Cutler supplied the missing proof.

In one trial, 10 women were exposed to alcohol containing sweat obtained from an 11th woman over the course of her menstrual cycle. The solution was rubbed under the women’s noses, as with the test of male sweat, several times a week. After several cycles, the periods of eight to the 10 women had shifted by several days so that they menstruated closer to the time the donor did. Ten additional women who were exposed to plain alcohol showed no change.

Now that they seem to have proved that pheromones exist in human beings the Monell researchers {Preti and Winnifred Cutler} are trying to determine their precise chemical identities.



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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