Generally pheromones are released by men, women, animals, and tons of other species. Humans detect the pheromones through the nose. Pheromones send signals to the brain to insinuate attraction, arousal, and of-course sexual attraction. For a long time now scientists have known about an organ in the nasal cavity known as the vomeronasal organ (VNO) (Wiclife & Chan, 2012). The sole function of this organ is to detect very small amounts of chemical compounds called pheromones in the air. Scholars and researchers in equal measure have turned their focus to the function of the VNO that has two pits and is a few centimetres from the nasal passage. The organ is connected to the limbic system of the brain by a nerve known as “Nerve O” bypassing the olfactory cortex as observed by (Erdem & Kaaraismailoglu, 2011). The nerve, for a long time now has been deemed dormant until they were subjected to specific human pheromones (Wiclife & Chan, 2012).
For a long time, scientists failed to ascertain that humans do respond to pheromones. Recent studies have, however, proven that once the VNO detects traces of pheromones, powerful electrical impulses are sent to the limbic system which consequently elicits varied emotions. The limbic system is not connected to the cognitive centres of the brain. For this reason, people only respond emotionally without involving cognition and reason. In the absence of cognitive processes like critical thinking and evaluation, the pheromones lead one to respond emotionally and sexually. On this regard, pheromones drive individuals into strong emotional body demands to fulfil the desires. The stimulating feelings that result from exposure to pheromones can be very powerful for an average person to control the feelings (Erdem & Kaaraismailoglu, 2011).
When sexual and more specifically romantic feelings overwhelm an individual, their brains are stimulated into the production of a hormone called dopamine as a result of the release of phenethylamine. Dopamine is a euphoric hormone which is greatly related to sexual arousal and general excitement of an individual (Erdem & Kaaraismailoglu, 2011). This cascade of events occur in a matter of seconds to few minutes and the effects can last forever depending on the individual and a few other factors like duration and frequency of exposure among others. Some scholars have called this phenomenon as “love at first sight” because of the uncontrollable nature of the response of a person to the exposure to pheromones (Erdem & Kaaraismailoglu, 2011).
There numerous reasons why a female partner can be attracted to another male even when they are with their spouses. The reasons are twofold in that they can be internal or external. Internal reasons in this case would be factors emanating from the current relationship. If the current relationship is not satisfactory to either of the parties, they can be attracted to another individual if the party feels they can get satisfaction from the other person who is present (Shoup, Streeter & McBurney 2008). For instance, if he female in the relationship is not satisfied with their present sex life, they easily get convinced that a perfectly statured male can satisfy them. This can lead to instant attraction to an alpha male and the same applies to the male. One the other hand, pheromones, as discussed above, play a very crucial role in determining instant attraction (Erdem & Kaaraismailoglu, 2011).
When it comes to the manner in which individuals, especially women, select their matches, there are two things involved. On one hand, women have a natural compulsion to select males with optimal genetic traits, sometimes referred to as “alpha males. On the other hand, women choices for their match can be dependent on the ability of the male to assure them of a long term relationship and be able to provide for their families, also known as “good relationship skills.” At a workplace, women are most likely to fall for men with high status rather than their colleagues nor juniors (Shoup, Streeter & McBurney 2008).
In conclusion, society has tried to define various ways to get the perfect features for the perfect relationships. Most individuals who try to go by the book in search for mates in most times end up in failure because they fail to realize that there is much needed than the outlook. Pheromones only result in the arousal of emotions that are instantly interpreted as sexual feelings and attractiveness. As this can vary with individuals, females are more susceptible to the pheromone bait. It is therefore very important for females to employ more decisive ways to know control the feelings and emotions as males only look for temporary mates while females would wish for a long term relationship.
- Wiclife N & Chan G. (2012). The Science of Sexual Attraction. New York, N.Y: Films Media Group.
- Erdem, A., & Karaismailoglu, S. (January 01, 2011). Neurophysiology of Emotions.
- Shoup, M. L., Streeter, S. A., & McBurney, D. H. (December 01, 2008). Olfactory Comfort and Attachment within Relationships. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38, 12, 2954-2963.