Thursday, August 14, 2008

The scent of a man

A woman taking the Pill is more likely to choose a man who is genetically wrong for her because of her altered perception of his odour, according to new research.

A British study says women are naturally attracted through their sense of smell to men who are genetically dissimilar to them. It's a way to diversify the gene pool and produce children who, for example, have stronger immune systems.

It's due to a group of about 140 genes in an area called the major histocompatibility complex that plays a key role in odour through interaction with skin bacteria.

But the hormones in the Pill can alter a woman's ability to sniff out a suitable mate and make her feel more attracted to men who are genetically similar. Oversimilar gene profiles can result in difficulty trying to conceive, an increased risk of miscarriage and a weaker immune system, earlier research has shown.

Furthermore, the new study says, if the woman stops taking the Pill, it could lead to “partnership breakdown” when she realizes she has chosen Mr. Wrong.

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