Researchers in Texas claim to have discovered that men can judge the fertility
of women by the way they smell. Better yet, they can even tell from the smell
of a worn T-shirt.
23 ladies were kept under austerely atypical conditions for a
month or so, denied the luxuries of sex, perfume (including perfumed soap
or deodorant), spicy food and other sources of smell pollution. Two of the
victims had to drop out of the experiment because they gave in to pizza and
cigarettes. The rest were given two T-shirts to wear at night, one to wear
during the fertile part of their cycle (13 to 15 days after their last period)
and the other for the infertile part (days 21 and 22).
Then the T-shirts were passed around to a panel of male volunteers. The men were
told that some of the T-shirts were from attractive women and others not, and to
try to identify the attractive women by the smell of their T-shirts.
The men resoundingly voted the T-shirts from the fertile women as belonging to
more attractive women. In other words, the men were able to tell the difference
in smell between women in their fertile or infertile phase.
My own comments
The above experiment is fine and good, and I feel some interesting conclusions
can be drawn. For instance, maybe women who have trouble getting a date should
switch T-shirts with their roommates?
I'm sure this has not been the last word in human pheromone experimentation.
As an update, I've recently read a report by a University that claims to have gotten
vastly different results.
My suggestion for a test setup is this: Why not let those lucky volunteers sniff panties,
which are arguably closer to the source of a woman's fertility?