Human pheromones in tears automagically effect testosterone
Automagically adv. Automatically in a way that seems magical.
Most people tend to think that human pheromones automagically effect behavior. This form of magical thinking is appropriate for those who have little use for biologically based logic. Here’s an example of biologically based logic: The putative human pheromone pregna-4,20-diene-3,6-dione links increased progesterone levels to the likelihood of a signal in the tears of women. Predictably, when this signal is found, it will be one that varies with menstrual cycle phase. That means there will be increased amount of the signal when women are menstruating (and reportedly are more prone to emotional tears).
Although this chemical was reported to act on testosterone via what turned out to be a non-functional human VNO in 1998: , the results reported here in January, 2011 continue to suggest that human pheromones act via a genetically conserved pathway in all mammals. Mammalian pheromones effect gonadotropin releasing hormone and luteinizing hormone/follicle stimulating hormone ratios, which links them to changes in levels of steroid hormones like testosterone. Changes in hormones link the pheromones to changes in behavior.
Predictably, the next report you read about pheromones in the emotional tears of women, will continue to refer to the pheromones as chemosignals, but will also mention that the chemosignals are derivatives of progesterone that automagically cause testosterone levels to decrease in men. As long as people ignore biological facts, they can continue to assert that there are no human pheromones, just chemosignals that somehow influence human behavior in the same way that mammalian pheromones influence that behavior of all other mammals (e.g., automagically).
Those who are interested in how human pheromones cause changes in human behavior, and can tolerate learning more about biology, are directed to a recent review article: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences