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Old 07-29-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
Harper Kingsley
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research help: human pheromones

I hate research

I'm writing a story where humans give off pheromones that bring about the idea of "fated love." I found this interesting article that my non-science brain is trying to decode http://www.anapsid.org/pheromones.html

Anyways, does this say what I think it does? That girls would reach sexual maturity later in life if they were kept away from boys? So if there was an alien society where the girls are kept segregated, then a male popped up among them, it might bring on premature maturation?

Are there any hormones or drugs that would effect human pheromone production? I'm going toward the angle of the mothers being exposed and the children being affected, maybe their sebaceous glands are mutated?
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:28 PM   #2
David Munch
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Originally Posted by Harper Kingsley View Post
I hate research
it can be tedious yes, but also very rewarding! (Im a scientist)

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Anyways, does this say what I think it does? That girls would reach sexual maturity later in life if they were kept away from boys? So if there was an alien society where the girls are kept segregated, then a male popped up among them, it might bring on premature maturation?
yes, your science deducting brain is working just fine!

You have to take note of some things though. First of all, this idea is only a theory based on a single experiment. As is also mentioned in the article, pheromones havent been shown in humans and might not exist.

Second, the age difference between know and the victorian days for instance is not extremely large. We are talking a few years. Also, current early puberty changes are most likely also caused by other external factors, such as hormone mimics in modern products.

In your specific story it would require two things (In theory): a male that has already started puberty to some extent; and an extended exposure to the male, say 1-2 months before the accelerated puberty kicks in, due to hormonal and physiological changes to take effect.

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Are there any hormones or drugs that would effect human pheromone production?
again, we don't even know if they exist! But for the sake of storytelling, why not? The endocrine system is extremely complex, so there are for sure things that would have an effect, as explained above.


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I'm going toward the angle of the mothers being exposed and the children being affected, maybe their sebaceous glands are mutated?
Im not sure what you mean here.

I hope the answer was good enough.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
Harper Kingsley
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You have to take note of some things though. First of all, this idea is only a theory based on a single experiment. As is also mentioned in the article, pheromones havent been shown in humans and might not exist.
Thanks so much. I know the idea of human pheromones affecting people are probably bunk, but that's why I write fiction So I went from the article to Wikipedia entries and I think I've put together a halfway workable idea:

Humans produce androstenone but are too insensitive to smell it. Most adult humans produce something resembling the vomeronasal organ, but there's no actual function. Plus we lack the sensory cells that other animals have to detect pheromones beyond a stinky smell, we don't have the genetic ability to produce those cells.

So if prenatal exposure to something were to cause a mutation that resulted in a working vomeronasal organ, humans would be attracted by pheromones. Then for the "fated love" angle, there's some hyperosmia toward specific people, and when you meet "the one," it kicks in just toward that person and their pheromones become overwhelming. At that point, the person experiences anosmia toward the pheromones of anyone that's not their mate, which means they have no libido toward them. Otherwise, normal sense of smell remains.

Wow, this one article has spawned like three ideas in my brain
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:35 AM   #4
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So if prenatal exposure to something were to cause a mutation that resulted in a working vomeronasal organ, ...

There are lots of things known to mess with DNA if the mother is exposed during pregnancy. Radiation of course is the easiest out for this, but drugs could do it also. That being the case, you could pick just about anything and run with it.


But my author mind jumps to, what if it was deliberate? Part of an attempt to reed a master race and a slave race by using the "fated love" as a way to control breeding pairs of humans....
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:45 AM   #5
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Just by coincidence ran across this:

Smell the Potassium: New Understanding of Trigger for Compulsive Mating and Male-On-Male Death Matches:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0729142133.htm
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:03 AM   #6
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I remember having once seen a report about experiments with react to reactions body odour and genetic differences. It's similar to kissing and taste in certain ways. If the genetic difference is too small like among close relatives there is no attraction. Btw. I remember I read a manga in said direction.
A guy was able to match people by their body smell but not able to file the one girl fitting himself into his system.
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harper Kingsley View Post
Thanks so much. I know the idea of human pheromones affecting people are probably bunk, but that's why I write fiction So I went from the article to Wikipedia entries and I think I've put together a halfway workable idea:

Humans produce androstenone but are too insensitive to smell it. Most adult humans produce something resembling the vomeronasal organ, but there's no actual function. Plus we lack the sensory cells that other animals have to detect pheromones beyond a stinky smell, we don't have the genetic ability to produce those cells.
Well, since pheromones are unproven, but speculated to exist, you could in theory just pick any endohormone that is known to be upregulated during maturity, and spin a story on it.

It wouldn't be very far fetched, and quite plausible..

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So if prenatal exposure to something were to cause a mutation that resulted in a working vomeronasal organ, humans would be attracted by pheromones. Then for the "fated love" angle, there's some hyperosmia toward specific people, and when you meet "the one," it kicks in just toward that person and their pheromones become overwhelming. At that point, the person experiences anosmia toward the pheromones of anyone that's not their mate, which means they have no libido toward them. Otherwise, normal sense of smell remains.
There you are... Sounds like a scientific explanation to that thing that happens in the Twilight series.. :P

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Wow, this one article has spawned like three ideas in my brain
Awesome!
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Old 08-01-2012, 11:09 AM   #8
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Are there any hormones or drugs that would effect human pheromone production? I'm going toward the angle of the mothers being exposed and the children being affected, maybe their sebaceous glands are mutated?
There are drugs that impact human pheromone production (David, pheromones are not rumored to exist... they do exist, in animals and in humans, but humans have lost the conscious ability to detect them. I touched upon this in my novel Evoguia). Many perfumes, which are themselves pheromones, and other drugs that stimulate or suppress hormone-producing glands, can create, block or change pheromone output.

Studies have used pheromones on subjects studying photos of members of the opposite sex, and shown that pheromone exposure causes subjects to routinely grade the photos higher in sexual attraction. It has been suggested that the pheromones released by women in an office environment may be the cause of some women in such offices "synchronizing" their periods over time. (Wish I had a reference for either of these.)

Humans are impacted by pheromones, but it is such a subtle impact that scientists have been hard-pressed to prove it; other studies have been largely inconclusive.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 08-01-2012 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:05 PM   #9
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As you said: conscious ability
That's the keyword.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:00 PM   #10
Steven Lyle Jordan
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As you said: conscious ability
That's the keyword.
Exactly: Human olfactory organs are not sensitive enough to pick up the subtle scents of pheromones. But they operate on the human body nevertheless. Note: Other animals, like dogs, can smell human pheromones and other human chemical secretions just fine. Some dogs have been trained to recognize a correlation between those odors and physiological changes that threaten an owner's health, and alert them to sit down or take a medication immediately.
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Old 08-01-2012, 02:47 PM   #11
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Alerting pets: I once knew a guy whose cat alerted him about approaching epileptic attacks.
Human perception of pheromones: Bet it is rather a problem with detection than with the working.
Homeopathic dosages as an other keyword?
Keeping the dependence of taste on additional olfactory input in mind plus the fact that oral sex is not really unpopular is IMO field proof enough.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:39 AM   #12
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Alerting pets: I once knew a guy whose cat alerted him about approaching epileptic attacks.
Coincidentally (for this discussion), just last night on the series Royal Pains, Dr. Lawson demonstrated a dog that was trained to detect the high glucose levels of a diabetic and warn him.

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Keeping the dependence of taste on additional olfactory input in mind plus the fact that oral sex is not really unpopular is IMO field proof enough.
Not going there...
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