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  • 22

    Birth Control Pills May Impair a Woman's Mate Selection
    Health/Wellness; Posted on: 2008-08-14 21:14:53 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
    by John Young

    A recent U.K. study reported in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Science has demonstrated that birth control pills alter important factors governing women's mate selection.

    According to Rachel Herz, PhD, author of The Scent of Desire, scent plays a pivotal role in which men a woman finds attractive. According to Ms. Herz:

    "My own research says the way a man smells to a woman is the main determinant of sexual attraction,"(1)

    Normally, women find men with immune systems that differ substantially from their own more attractive. In this way, they give their children a better chance of survival. According to Daniel DeNoon:

    "Animal studies show that female mammals can smell out males whose MHC genes are different from their own. MHC genes affect important immune responses. By mating with males who have different MHC genes, females give their offspring a better disease-fighting repertoire.

    It's true of humans, too. In laboratory studies, women who sniff men's sweaty T-shirts find them more attractive when they come from men whose MHC genes don't match theirs. It's not that certain MHC genes smell better to women -- it's the difference that counts." (2)

    And this is where the rubber hits the road with birth control pills. The UK study demonstrated that women who take birth control pills -- for the duration that they are using them -- prefer the scents of men with similar rather than different immune responses.

    Of course, when women go off the pill, their preferences return to normal.

    According to a WebMD article:
    "The question, of course, is what happens when a woman taking birth control pills marries a man to whom she's attracted -- and then stops taking the pill."(3)

    It is notable that, in couples counseling, when women report a lack of sexual attraction to their husband, their #1 complaint is that they can no longer stand the way he smells.(4)

    Because human relations are complex, it is doubtful that the revolution in birth control pill consumption is the only cause of divorce. But it is clear from this research that it plays a role in certain instances.

    Because of the terrible social costs of divorce, especially to innocent children who have no say in the matter, wise men and women will consider the impact of birth control pill usage in the durability of mate selection.

    (1) http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20080812/bad-sex-pill
    (2) ibid.
    (3) ibid.
    (4) Herz, R. (2007) The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell
    News Source: Email

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