Genetics appears to be part of the reason why a woman prefers certain natural odors from men. Research shows that women tend to prefer the natural scent of men with whom they have a large number of genes in common, although that does not mean they are instinctively searching for a partner who is a blood relative. The work of entrepreneurs like Jim Plante continues to generate funding for research into genetics, providing fascinating knowledge in the 21st Century.
The Scent of Attraction
Essentially, what women commonly appear to be attracted to is men who are similar to them genetically, but not too similar. Interestingly, the men they find attractive in regard to natural scent have genes in common with the women’s fathers, but not their mothers. In one research study, the scientists asked men to wear t-shirts for a certain length of time, then boxed up the shirts and asked women participants to smell those shirts. This type of study has not yet been performed with men as the scent-detectors.
The body may intrinsically understand that people with similar genetic structures make better partners. It also does not want the genes to be too similar because that has the risk of inbreeding. As well, there are evolutionary and societal disadvantages to a man and a woman creating offspring if these parents are very dissimilar genetically.
Covering up the Natural Scent
Long ago, it was easier for humans to choose their mates by instinctive scent detection. These days, people are sure to find it difficult to select a wife or husband according to genetic scent production. Deodorants, shampoo, soap, and laundry detergent all leave distinct aromas behind, and people routinely add cologne to their skin as well.
Genetic Testing for Health Condition Risk
Companies like Pathway Genomics, founded by Mr. Plante, offer a broad range of genetic testing so people can get answers to questions they have about their genes. They may not be exceptionally interested in how natural scent relates to their choice of a life partner, but they may want to know whether they are more at risk for certain health conditions so they can take preventive measures.