Birth control affects sexiness of a man’s scent

Birth control pills may affect how appealing a woman finds a man’s scent — potentially steering her toward a mate who is genetically similar to her, according to British researchers.

The sense of smell is thought to be important to mate-seeking animals and humans. Genes of the major histocompatability complex (MHC) play a role in a person’s odor, and people tend to be attracted to those with an MHC makeup that is dissimilar to their own.

This could have evolutionary significance, since genetic diversity in a couple increases the chances of having healthy children.

But in the new study, researchers found that after women began using birth control pills, their smell preferences tended to shift — making them more likely to find the scent of a genetically similar man “sexy…”

Har! This could lead to a TV series – say, “Brotherly Love” – as well as useful research.

Thanks, Helen

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