2010-02-03

Men's Sweat Attracts Women

According to a new study to pick up the ladies, a 20-minute workout on the elliptical machine should do just fine.

The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience and conducted by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, found that women who sniffed a chemical found in male sweat experienced "heightened mood, physiological arousal and subjective sexual arousal."

"This is the first time anyone has demonstrated that a change in women hormonal levels is induced by sniffing an identified compound of male sweat," said Claire Wyart, a post-doctoral fellow at UC Berkeley and the leader of the study.

The study focused on androstadienone (AND), a component of sweat. Previous studies have found male sweat -- specifically from the underarm -- can increase the secretion of luteinizing hormone in women, responsible for stimulating ovulation.

Another study showed female sweat, when applied to the upper lip of another woman, can alter the menstrual cycle of the subject to coincide with the sweat provider, according to a press release.

"Many people argue that human pheromones don't exist, because humans don't exhibit stereotyped behavior," Wyart said. "Nonetheless, this male chemical signal, [AND], does cause hormonal as well as physiological and psychological changes in women. More cognitive studies need to be done to understand how [AND] affects female cognitive functions."

Research was conducted on 48 Berkeley undergraduate women, each of which took 20 sniffs from vials containing either AND or a control -- in this case -- yeast. Scientists then took saliva samples from the women to measure cortisol levels, a hormone used to respond to stress. The increased hormone levels were found within 15 minutes after the testing began and lasted for more than an hour.

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