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University of Kent research suggests that men can distinguish between the scents of sexually aroused and non-aroused women.
The detection of sexual arousal through smell may function as an additional channel in the communication of sexual interest and provide further verification of human sexual interest.
This research by Dr. Arnaud Wisman, a Psychologist at the University of Kent, expands on previous studies which have concluded that humans can communicate and detect emotions such as fear or sadness through scent. Sexual arousal is also identified as an emotional physical state.
Findings were established through three different experiments where men processed the scents of axillary sweat samples from anonymous sexually aroused and non-aroused women. Men evaluated the scent of sexually aroused women as relatively more attractive and this increased their sexual motivation. This suggests that the chemical signals of scent alone can elicit a sexual response in recipients.
"The present studies suggest that men are sensitive to the olfactory signals of sexual arousal released by women. This research suggests that these signals released along with corresponding visual and auditory expressions of sexual interest can produce a stronger overall signal that increases sexual motivation," said Dr. Arnaud Wisman.
"Sexual interest may entail more than meets the eye and we hope that the current findings encourage further research to examine the role of sexual olfactory signals in human communication."