In electromagnetism, “opposites attract” is a hard and fast law. Could there be laws mediating the attraction between human beings? Are there really any rules determining how two people end up falling for one another?
Is attraction between people simply based on actual chemistry?
Possibly. The scientific community believes animal attraction is widely mediated by pheromone chemicals. Of all species, pheromone effects in insects have been studied the most. Science has observed that pheromones are used for non-sexual communication amongst some species, like ants. The terrible odor of skunks’ defensive spray is thought to contain pheromones. In order to attract mates, some ape species rub their pheromone-laden urine on their potential mates’ feet. Some researchers have concluded that animals (usually the females of the species) like bugs and mammals emit these chemical signals to let the males know that their genes are somehow different. Genetic diversity is critical for producing offspring with better overall survival odds. Pheromones have now attracted the perfume industry as a way to promote their products as sexual attractiveness aids. Whales, musk deer, and other animals have been hunted for these pheromone chemicals.
Scientists have recently begun researching the existence and role of pheromones in human selection of mates. Many differing views continue to be advocated throughout the fields of chemistry, biology, psychology, and genetics. The scientific community does not believe these pheromones exist in men and women in any functional way. But new research, overseen by Klaus Wedekind at the University of Bern, has caused many scientists to change their minds.
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