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inq.serge
04-11-2009, 18:07
Hi.

Most people know that Testosterone makes your muscles grow, make you more aggressive, and make people obey you due to pheromones, also, makes you make some less bright decisions sometimes.

But what effects do estrogen have on body and personality? What I've read, women with higher levels tend to be more attracted to psychotic males, and tend to be more caring. Whether or not it's true, I don't know.

Super Mario
04-11-2009, 19:28
You could start here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/aqa/human/hormonesrev1.shtml

El_Phen
05-11-2009, 13:22
Hi.

...and make people obey you due to pheromones...

Just so you know, pheromones don't exist in humans so there's no 'obeying' someone due to what they/you smell like. As you point out, testosterone makes people aggressive etc. this is usually a much better reason to 'obey' someone (i.e. not wanting to get beaten up due to 'disobeying' their command).

Xisor
05-11-2009, 14:29
Yep, El_Phen raises a fine point. Humans don't do pheromones. If we did, regularly attracting folks would be a simple matter of 'smelling right'. Not a complex matter of 'if you don't smell like a sewer they won't run away immediately'.

Well, okay, it's not quite that simple, but you'd think it'd be widespread and easily studied if the effect existed.

However

You're really talking about hormonal stuff, which is real and exists. It's not as simple as you tentatively discuss, but it's not any more hideously complex than other microbiology stuff. That said, I'm almost completely lacking in knowledge on this sort of thing, so I'm keen to read up on it too.

Ozorik
05-11-2009, 15:40
We do have pheromones but their effect is subtle, far too subtle to make someone obey you and too subtle to be noticable.

One of the major factors in sexual attraction actually is 'smelling right'. Its not uncommon for people to form long term sexual relationships with people who aren't their 'type' based upon visual characteristics, my wife is pretty much the opposite of my type for instance. Smell is one of the key initial reasons for attraction.

Essentially oestrogen is a sexual hormone related to female characteristics, basically women with high oestrogen levels tend to have more children. Men who express high levels of oestrogen tend to be smaller and have more female psychologial traits.

I haven't heard heard the theory about psychotic men before, but it is possible as women do tend to find psychopathic men more attractive in general (IIRC). Then again men with high oestrogen levels are supposed to be more attractive to women as well (at least according to one of my old lecturers, who was suspiciously short now that I think about it :) ).

PariahX
05-11-2009, 17:27
psychotic men

He means masculine men.

I.e, assertive, dominant, violent, selfish.

It is unfortunate that feminine traits (responsibility, empathy, passivity) are so conducive to a stable society. Which is why masculine traits become associated with the idea of a "psychopathy" in some minds ....

Xisor
05-11-2009, 18:30
We do have pheromones but their effect is subtle, far too subtle to make someone obey you and too subtle to be noticable.


And yet the science supporting this is almost non-existant.

That folks go with other folks 'not their type' is not at all indicative of pheromones any more than it (more plausibly) indicates that, actually, folks only delude themselves into percieving a 'type'...!

heretics bane
05-11-2009, 19:05
But what effects do estrogen have on body and personality? What I've read, women with higher levels tend to be more attracted to psychotic males, and tend to be more caring. Whether or not it's true, I don't know.

Gives you breasts is what first springs to mind. Most if not every male is "violent" to a degree due to you sometimes just got to fight for survival and the survival of the fittest is certinly a contributing factor.

My biology teacher done studies on infanticide and general murder for his Phd and its actually reverse about testosterone. Those mice who where subjected to lower testosterone in the womb actually where more violent unlike those with lower levels

Ozorik
05-11-2009, 20:40
That folks go with other folks 'not their type' is not at all indicative of pheromones any more than it (more plausibly) indicates that, actually, folks only delude themselves into percieving a 'type'...!

That was a generic example which should be familar to most people.


And yet the science supporting this is almost non-existant.

Not that non existent, not definatively proven as far as I'm aware but there is good evidence which suggests that human pheromones exist. Personally I see no reason why they wouldn't.

inq.serge
06-11-2009, 12:57
Well, I've heard that the near non-existent pheromonal effect of testosterone makes people more likely to follow orders.

And the psychotic male thing; A recent study shows that when women have lower estrogen, they tend to prefer safe caring "soft" family guys, but at ovulation, when the estrogen rises, they tend to prefer more macho men, like players, but also more psychotic, violent and anti-social men.

mongoosedog300
06-11-2009, 13:15
There is some evidence to support human pheremones, which is enough for the moment to rule out their non-existence-ness. It might not be particularly strong, but if someone smells right then it's more likely that theres gunna be more reproduction, which is good for the species.

Also, wouldn't it make sense that more testosterone in your system makes others more likely to follow you? Basically the manliest man would have the most testosterone, hence be more muscular and better able to survive, therefor his body would release something that makes others more likely to be subservient to him and fall under his protection?

Xisor
06-11-2009, 13:27
Not that non existent, not definatively proven as far as I'm aware but there is good evidence which suggests that human pheromones exist. Personally I see no reason why they wouldn't.

Which 'good evidence'? This 'uns a bit old, from 2003, but it reflects a fairly compelling point.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/18kkgcg9cmg6kmn4/fulltext.pdf
"Only the first of these pieces of evidence can be taken
as unambiguously supportive of the existence of human
pheromones, and probably none of this evidence can be
regarded as conclusive." - just before the acknowledgements

Furthermore, if the scientific stance on things had changed much since then, you'd imagine that Wikipedia would reflect this quite happily, wouldn't you? (Unless there's a conspiracy afoot :rolleyes: )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pheromone#Humans
"Despite these claims, no pheromonal substance has ever been demonstrated to directly influence human behavior in a peer reviewed study." - Final sentence in that section

I mean, really, given all the 'common wisdom' on the matter; you'd think science could figure it out quite quickly, wouldn't you? And yet the science on it is decidedly lacking. Almost like you'd find with other urban myths, legends, rumours and popular old wive's tales rather than actual stuff which exists.

I heard bigfoot's pheromones are super powerful.

Ozorik
06-11-2009, 17:28
As I said there is no conclusive evidence but there is a lot of supporting peer reviewed evidence, a simple google search will supply more than enough. It certainly has more evidence than pretty much any other 'urban legend' you care to name.

If pheremones exist in other animals it makes perfect sense that humans would also have our own equivelents. None have been isolated biochemically (at least none have been definatively isolated) but that doesn't mean that they dont exist.

Xisor
06-11-2009, 19:21
Peer reviewed evidence is, essentially the only conclusive evidence. And at that; when it shows up in randomised, double-blinded controlled trials, I'll be certain to approve.

Consider a claim in this thread: That testosterone could make you more manly, more trustworthy as a leader, more easily obeyed.

Don't you think that, perhaps, the simple and easy identification of such things in animals would make it similarly obvious in humans? At least to corner the chemicals, perhaps not to identify they're exact and exhaustive results in transmission?

Consider even oddball military things; don't you think pheromones would be a crucial thing in controlling if they do what you imply they can do?


As I said there is no conclusive evidence but there is a lot of supporting peer reviewed evidence, a simple google search will supply more than enough. It certainly has more evidence than pretty much any other 'urban legend' you care to name.

My apologies. It's the claims of what they can do that are the urban legend, their existence and action is alot less debateable (though not at all beyond question).

Consider the remarkable 'releaser' pheromones which give rise to the conception of 'SEX PHEROMONES IN THIS PERFUME; GET LAID NOW!' style snake-oil perfume scams. These things work in animals, but there's precisely not-very-much, not-very-reliable evidence of such a remarkable phenomenon in humans.

The possibility that human bodies communicate subconciously via chemicals? Sure. That they do what's being discussed above in the thread? No. (Well, if they do, I'll be pleasantly surprised; but the reports and discussion by folks who appear to know the evidence don't seem to think this is the case.)



If pheremones exist in other animals it makes perfect sense that humans would also have our own equivelents. None have been isolated biochemically (at least none have been definatively isolated) but that doesn't mean that they dont exist.

You really should say "could also have our own". There's key unstated assumptions here too which easily lead folks astray. Just because humans have the same biological function, doesn't mean they'll have the same behavioural effects.

Now, this really could be betraying my lack of knowledge of biochemistry, but surely such things (as seen in pigs, for instance) are easily identified?

I shan't deny the possibility of a much more complex, more complicated reaction in humans. But by the same token, I wouldn't be at all surprised if it simply didn't happen. Bees build things, humans build things; but we don't live in hives and bees don't shop at Tesco.

Even further: it's perfectly possible that human pheromones do exist; but that they have precisely no discernable biologically certain range of effects (i.e. that they even detect them).

And now this is moving into a really troubling point: How do we detect 'em? The discussion centres around the VNO and, rather intriguingly, I'm sympathetic to the ambiguity of the evidence. If you'll pardon the slightly vulgar comparison, the 'search' for VNO in humans seems peculiarly a little similar to the (medical, not day-to-day! :p ) search for the female G-spot.

But that is, so to speak, beside the point. The OP is really asking about hormones, not pheromones. That's incidental and quite anciliary. Hormones are relatively very well documented, more discussing about them and less encouraging me to read up about the difficulty in finding might-or-might-not exist artefacts of human evolution!

Master Jeridian
08-11-2009, 01:24
Keep up the good work, Xisor.

Next they'll be saying 'Souls' really exist, and science has 'sort of' proved it.

I second the call, the human body and biology may still hold mysteries, but surely if pheromones can be detected and examined in animals, they should be detectable and examinable in humans.

Hearsay, isn't proof.

Hellebore
08-11-2009, 04:02
Keep up the good work, Xisor.

Next they'll be saying 'Souls' really exist, and science has 'sort of' proved it.

I second the call, the human body and biology may still hold mysteries, but surely if pheromones can be detected and examined in animals, they should be detectable and examinable in humans.

Hearsay, isn't proof.

I don't know about you, but I've got two and I use them every day.

Hellebore

Lord Inquisitor
08-11-2009, 04:15
The link above is as good as any as far as human pheromones are concerned. The impression I've always had was that there's definately something going on (I recall a study where women predictably tended to prefer smelly T-shirts from certain men and not others) but very little understanding of exactly what is going on.

As far as testosterone and estrogen levels in men or women, the poly-X and poly-Y disorders are worth looking at.

There are lots of other hormones worth having a look at though. I'll have a ponder and find some interesting ones.

Melchiah
08-11-2009, 04:22
One of my next door neighbors is a gay man. Some time ago he came to the desision that he was going to go with with a sex change and was on estrogen, long story short it didnt "agree" with him and started to "reject" from his body and now he has major heart problems and what not. I dont kow all the details and he confinded most of this in my wife.
And before anyone jumps on me for "bashing" they are a very nice couple and most likely the best neighbors ive had since i can remember, their dogs on the other hand are annoying as hell .:eyebrows:

Ozorik
08-11-2009, 08:04
Now, this really could be betraying my lack of knowledge of biochemistry, but surely such things (as seen in pigs, for instance) are easily identified?


My stance on pheremones is that while they exist their effect is so slight and hard to discern that they are difficult to isolate. This makes identifying them difficult in an experimental setting.

Its a bit outside my line of work though :)


These things work in animals, but there's precisely not-very-much, not-very-reliable evidence of such a remarkable phenomenon in humans.


I would be amazed if they did to be honest, especially as they tend to be made using pig pheromones :)


You really should say "could also have our own"

Thats what I meant really, I didnt mean to say that we do but rather that it wouldn't suprise me if we did.

bertcom1
08-11-2009, 11:03
the t-shirt smell tests are to do with immune systems.
it appeared to show people prefer mates who smell like they have different immune systems to their own.
It's not a "Smell like this = receive womenz" thing, there's no one thing that does all. It's more of a "smell like this = attractive to these, smell like that = attractive to those".

Also given the poor sense of smell humans have, and the environmental smells they're exposed to - soap, shampoo, anti-perspirants, laundry detergents, cigarette smoke, food & drink smells, motor vehicle fumes, plastics chemical vapours, electrical equipment smells, chemicals in paper products, etc. - then effects in the everyday environment, rather than laboratory are going to be much reduced.

Master Jeridian
08-11-2009, 12:18
I don't know about you, but I've got two and I use them every day.


Wow, I don't even have one Soul. I have 2 Soles though, ;)

El_Machinae
08-11-2009, 18:13
the t-shirt smell tests are to do with immune systems.
it appeared to show people prefer mates who smell like they have different immune systems to their own.
It's not a "Smell like this = receive womenz" thing, there's no one thing that does all. It's more of a "smell like this = attractive to these, smell like that = attractive to those".

It's still, by definition, a pheromone effect. A pheromone is an extruded natural chemical that produces a neurological effect in a member of the same species.

Yes, it could be an immune system thing. It probably is. But this doesn't change that women prefer one type of male pheromone when they're pregnant (or on the pill) and a different one when they're ovulating.

They can't detect the odor, but they prefer one to the other.

Ozorik
08-11-2009, 22:47
Yes, it could be an immune system thing

Its not anything directly to do with the immune system, its to do with the specific genes that an individual has which control how antibodies are 'designed'. The more diverse these are the more attractive the smell.

Xisor
09-11-2009, 12:10
El_Machinae: The result is influencing aesthetic choice, is it not, with the hypothesis supported that this influence is resultant from the distinction of the genes (as Ozorik explains)? This is a natural response to a chemical? Wherein is the delineation, if any exists, between a pheromone effect and 'smelling nice'? Or more appropriately rather than 'smelling nice': being able to use the sense of smell to distinguish features in another person?

The (entirely artificial) analogy I can think of is this distinction:
- 'Pheromone' effect of a pretty naked person
- 'Pheromone' effect of someone whose skin changes colour in similar sense to that epilepsy inducing anime.

One is a natural response, as is the other (and both visual rather than chemical), but one is a compelled effect (induced epilepsy), the former is merely...visually stimulated arousal.

I understand I'm being somewhat obstuse in this post. I'll try to clarify later on this afternoon.

El_Machinae
10-11-2009, 21:34
The best way to think of a pheromone is a hormone from another animal, I think. So, I'm not talking about the triggering of the special senses (sight, taste, etc.) but a blood-borne effect, where the chemical comes into the body and does something.

It will be some time before we say that women are influenced by hormones or not. We don't have the 'obvious' neurological structures that other animals do, but we do have a direct feed from our olfactory system into our brain proper (instead of to the brainstem or thalamus first).

Cosmic_Girl
13-11-2009, 16:46
Hey guys,

Some of this stuff was covered in my degree. Apparently people are innately attracted to people with different smell to them because body odour is strongly determined by the types of bacteria infesting your skin (which forms part of your non-specific immune system). Basically different bacteria makes your body odour smell differently, thus a different smell indicates a different immune make up. People are drawn to individuals with different smells because its advantageous to mate with someone with that kind of diversity so your offspring will have a combination of both and thus immunity to a wider variety of pathogens.

As for pheremones, as stated, there is no solid evidence per se supporting the existence of human pheremones, but other substances can alter human behaviour simply through olfaction. Oxytocin for example is believed to be involved with mother/child bonding. Some researchers beleiev that human bodning would not be possible in the classical sense without it. But spraying sex hormones (testosterone or oestrogen) doesn't make you inherrantly attractive to the opposite sex.

C-girl.