Pheromones: What is There to Know?

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Pheromones are chemicals that are released from animals and humans.  These chemicals are attractants that tell other animals a wide range of things.  Things such as type of animal, sex of the animal, social group that the animal belongs to and if the animal is in heat or not.  These pheromones are found in bugs and aquatic life as-well.  These chemicals are released by the body by excretions.  The term pheromones came about in 1959 defining it as chemical substances excreted by animals to trigger reproductive behavioral response from a recipient of the same species.

Pheromones in humans are largely not understood.  Some researchers have claimed to be able to break down human excretions from arm pit sweat and vaginal secretions and turn them into marketable products.  These products are widely available in adult novelty stores claiming to bring your partner into a wild craze.  Some other researchers claim that science has not evolved enough to make this concept an actual reality.  They claim that these products are just a marketing tool to sell customers products based on false advertising.  One thing that is agreed upon is that the human body does produce and excrete pheromones.

The first controlled scientific studies were conducted in 1986 to determine if humans did indeed produce pheromones.  This test did conclude that humans do produce these chemicals.  It was the first time that this theory was actually proved.

In 2005, there were 4 classes of pheromones recognized.  These 4 were territorial markers, mother-infant, menstrual synchrony and sex-attractant pheromones.  Since then, scientists have discovered a fifth class.  This class is sulfated steroids.

Territorial markers are considered to ward off others.  They can attract same species and same sex but are considered repellents to other species.

Mother-Infant recognition helps the offspring to know who the mother is and identify it with feeding.

Menstrual synchrony is probably one of the most commonly known class.  This is where a group of females who have different menstrual cycles are placed together.  But after a short period of time, all of the females will start to have their cycles shortened or lengthened for no apparent reason.  Eventually all of the females will have their cycles at or very near to the same time, even though they started their cycles far apart.

Sex-attractant pheromones are the ones that marketers capitalize on in the adult industry.  These pheromones are just what they sound like.  They attract the opposite sex and give the sense to want to mate.  These are also considered nature’s way of reproducing.  Most animals only mate in order to reproduce.  So this is very key to species survival.

Sulfated steroids are a social representation of the animal that produced it.  This one is still being heavily researched.  It is produced by females and is thought to give off the current level of stress in the animal.  It is also found to give detailed report of the reproductive phase that the animal is in.  This is why males do not produce this chemical.
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