Wrap your nose around this: Sex smells… At least according to a new study published in Current Biology.
Wen Zhou of the Chinese Academy of Sciences used two different types of pheromones: androstadienone, found in male semen and sweat, and estratetraenol, found in female urine. Participants of varying sexual orientations were asked to watch videos of abstract human figures and to identify whether they were male or female.
When exposed to androstadienone, both homosexual men and heterosexual women were more likely to suggest that the figure was a man. Interestingly, the pheromone had no effect on heterosexual men.
When exposed to estratetraenol, heterosexual men were more likely to perceive the figure as female. Meanwhile, heterosexual women showed no effect to estratetraenol. Lesbian and bisexual women, however, showed a response somewhere in between.
“The study shows that people subconsciously extract gender information from chemosensory cues [that depend] on their gender and sexual orientation,” Zhou said.
In other words, humans can sense another person’s biological sex based on their pheromones. More specifically, they can sense a person they might be attracted to.
This is bad news for conservative zealots who still insist being gay is a choice, as well as alleged “ex-gays” who claim to have willingly changed their sexual orientations. Of course, neither of those groups have ever been too concerned with science, so whatever.