Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Pheromones In Animals and Humans

Pheromones are chemicals mostly secreted by animals which is usually a form of social response. However, recent studies have suggested that pheromones are not only used in the animal kingdom. Humans also possess pheromones which are widely known to be used for attracting the opposite-sex.

What are pheromones? Human pheromones is a special substance, mostly in liquid form, which is said to cause an impact to the receiver's behavior. Commonly normal in the animal kingdom, pheromones are used to trigger a form of social response in members of the same species, such as if the an insect or animal is ready for mating or looking for mating partner or as a warning in cases of territory.

Pheromones in animals
Pheromones in animals and insects are chemicals capable of acting outside the body of the secreting individual to impact the behavior of the receiving individual. It may also be used as a form of social response. There are different types of uses of pheromones in the animal and insect kingdom. These include:Aggregation pheromones (which function in defense against predators, mate selection, and overcoming host resistance by mass attack), alarm pheromones (which is usually a form of volatile substance which is secreted when attacked by a predator), territorial pheromones (which are normally used to mark the boundaries of an organism's territory), information pheromones (which are indicative of an animal's identity or territory), and mating pheromones (which are used to attract a potential mate).

However, other than in animals and insects, a number of researchers have also suggested that humans are also known to secrete pheromones which are mostly used to attract the attention of the opposite-sex.

Pheromones in humans
According to experts, pheromones in humans are mostly known for its use in attracting the opposite-sex. One study demonstrated that the smell of androstadienone, a type of chemical normally secreted by the male in a form of sweat, maintains higher levels of cortisol in females, and that the compound is detected via the olfactory mucosa or by the nose. This means that men's sweat are said to attract women other than their physical appearance. Other than the men, women pheromones are also known for its effect to attract men.

There is also a case of women pheromones that affects other womens, in most cases their menstrual cycles. It was found that it caused their menstrual cycles to speed up or slow down depending on the time in the month the sweat was collected; before, during, or after ovulation. Therefore, this study proposed that there are two types of pheromone involved: "One, produced prior to ovulation, shortens the ovarian cycle; and the second, produced just at ovulation, lengthens the cycle".

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