Do pheromones really work? If so, how

Study on partner choice Attractants in perfume are ineffective

Spring is considered the best time of year to fall in love. Warm temperatures lure people outside. Many meet there more openly than on dark and cold days. Good prerequisites for finding a partner. The advertising promises: the right scent helps you find it. Expensive little water is mixed with substances that are supposed to help the human willingness to mate on the jumps. But be careful: According to the latest research, these perfumes have no effect.

In a new study, Australian researchers investigated the effects of two substances that are traded as human sex attractants. Specifically, it was about Estratetraenol (EST) and Androstadienone (AND). Both are said to induce subconscious stimuli in the opposite sex. Allegedly, the smell is supposed to suggest that its wearer is particularly feminine or particularly masculine.

If this existed, the substances would have to influence the behavior of test subjects when choosing possible partners, write the researchers working with Leigh W. Simmons from the University of Western Australia in Crawley near Perth in the journal Royal Society Open Science. However, the scientists were unable to determine this in two experiments.

First of all, researchers wanted to know: Do the substances dissolved as a scent trigger an association with men or women in test subjects? To do this, the study leaders asked 22 women and 24 men to use a computer on two consecutive days. There the participants should look at faces and classify them as male or female.

The photos themselves were composed of male and female images and thus could not be clearly assigned. The test subjects were exposed to a placebo on one day and to the two substances EST and AND on the other. The researchers' idea: if the alleged pheromones convey a strong association with femininity or masculinity, the participants assign the photos more strongly to the respective gender associated with the smell. In fact, however, the sorting behavior of the test subjects did not change, regardless of whether they were exposed to the smells or not.

In a second experiment, 51 women and 43 men were asked to rate photos of the opposite sex according to their attractiveness and indicate whether they thought the person in question could be an affair. Again, EST and AND had no effects.

According to the researchers, the results underline the statements made in previous studies. Accordingly, neither estratetraenol nor androstadienone are human sexual attractants. If there are such pheromones, EST and AND are not included, the scientists write.

on TV | 02/14/2017 | 3 p.m.