Friday, May 13, 2005

Olfactory Gaydar

When a gay man says, "May naaamoy akong malansa," it's in reference to someone in the immediate area who's probably gay, too. It's one of those classic gay one-liners.

Then there's this report from the Hindustan Times...

Philadelphia scientists collected samples of underarm sweat from 24 donors of "varied gender and sexual orientation" and then asked 82 heterosexual and homosexual men and women to test these for any potential appealing qualities.

According to the researchers quoted in the Guardian Unlimited, homosexual men and women showed preferences that were not those of heterosexual people of either sex.

Gay men preferred the scent of gay men and heterosexual women, they said. But the scent of gay men was the least preferred by heterosexual men and women and by lesbian women.

"Our findings support the contention that gender preference has a biological component that is reflected in both the production of different body odours and in the perception of and response to body odours," says Charles Wysocki of the Monell Chemical Senses Centre.

A separate study by Swedish scientists did a more substantial research into what it is about male sweat that might trigger response in the brains of gay men and heterosexual women.

According to them, the hypothalamus region of the brain became activated when men detected an oestrogen steroid known as EST, and women's brains lit up when they got a whiff of a testosterone derivative known to biochemists as AND.

They used brain imaging equipment to test the responses of homosexual men, and heterosexual men and women, to EST, AND and other smells such as lavender. AND set the hypothalamus alight in homosexual men and heterosexual women. EST worked for heterosexual men alone.

So the research shows that the human brain responds differently to these potential pheromones (agencies of attraction in the animal world) and that there could be a link between sexual orientation and brain function.

3 comments:

lei said...

sexual orientation is related to brain function. and they find this out now. haha. :)

lei said...

hmmm...

waltzang said...

you can also say "amoy mothballs" (kasi closeted).

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