Monday, April 28, 2008

human sexual attraction and stinky t-shirts

Hat-tip: Lisa Anderson for pointing to this video in a comment on Stephanie Chow's post on weird ways to pick mates

4 comments:

Black Lotus April 28, 2008 at 12:00 PM  

That is completely amazing! I wonder how perfumes and colognes might alter that.

Stefanie Chow April 28, 2008 at 2:07 PM  

The experiment is done so that the participants are wearing no colognes or perfumes. They are given fragrance-free detergents to wash their t-shirt to start. They are to use fragrance-free soap, shampoo, etc. They are also asked to refrain from any odor-generating activities, such as exercise or sex, and from eating smelly foods.

Another study (Milinski and Wedekind 2001) showed that people tend to pick perfumes and colognes that enhance their immunogenetics. So when you try on a perfume or cologne and it smells "bad" on you, it's because some of the ingredients aren't compatible with your MHC.

Madhu April 28, 2008 at 2:13 PM  

Another study (Milinski and Wedekind 2001) showed that people tend to pick perfumes and colognes that enhance their immunogenetics. So when you try on a perfume or cologne and it smells "bad" on you, it's because some of the ingredients aren't compatible with your MHC.

Really!! Interesting - I haven't come across that study yet. Would you please share the full citation or at least the DOI link for that paper here, Stephanie?

Stefanie Chow April 28, 2008 at 5:30 PM  

I couldn't find the DOI link, but here is the full citation:

Milinski, M. and C. Wedekind. 2001. Evidence for MHC-correlated perfume preferences in humans. Behavioral Ecology 12:140-149.

I found this while I was searching for information for my term paper (and actually came across quite a bit of other interesting bits like this).

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