Just some questions…
Around puberty, people start using deodorant. Why does that happen? I mean how do people become smellier?
And is this smelliness instinctively unpleasant to us, or is it just a cultural thing?
And are there such things as human pheremones? Maybe they are the post-puberty odor before it has started getting smelly.
Someone suggested that armpit hair is useful because it broadcasts body odor and therefore attracts mates. So I guess bikini clad girls should let their arm-pit hair grow… and apparently in France, women often don’t shave their arm-pits. Perhaps the unattractiveness of arm-pit hair is cultural.
That guy also said that arm-pit hair is good for dry lubrication but kids should have it too then.
The whole smelliness thing is related to the various oils and secretions that start to happen around puberty. The smell itself is not produced by your body, but by the bacteria feeding on these oils. So even if there are pheromones involved (which would not be noticible at a concious level), I don’t see how B.O. could ever be seen as a good thing.
As far as hair goes, my own personal feeling is that the hair gives the bacteria more surface area to grow on and thus can increase the potential for odor. That’s why I tend to keep my pits shaved.
Development doesn’t work that way. It would also be useful for kids to have large muscles and be taller, but a human’s body has different genetic imperatives prior to puberty.
Yes, armpit hair provides dry lubrication. It also traps pheromones and body odor. It has been demonstrated that both, when emitted by men, impact women. It’s really a pretty interesting topic.
First, pheromones. Male pheromones have been demonstrated to have beneficial effects for regularization of the female menstrual cycle. A regular menstrual cycle, in turn, has positive implications for fertility, avoidance of certain types of cancer, etc. And, of course, the best way for a woman to get “dosed” with male pheromones is, er, intimate contact. So remember, girls, sex is good for your health!
Next, body odor. Not all body odor is caused by bacteria - some of the components of body odor are emitted directly by the body. One such is MHC proteins. Interestingly, studies have shown that women find the smell of male sweat that contains MHCs that are not similar to their own MHC more attractive (or at least less unpleasant) when they are not pregnant, while the opposite is true when they are pregnant. The theory is that this is an indicator of genetic similarity or lack thereof. Woman find the smell of non-related males more attractive when they are not pregnant - making it more likely they will be attracted to genetically suitable mates. The theory believes that the reverse occurs during pregnancy because a woman would want to find family members, who could aid and protect her during the pregnancy, more pleasant to be around.
Birth control pills present a quirk. The same studies show that women on the Pill react to MHC as if they were pregnant. This makes sense, as the Pill essentially fools the body into thinking it it pregnant. The (theoretical) result is that women on the Pill are attracted to, genetically speaking, the “wrong” guys.
Ah, Cecil, I’d rather be lucky IN BED!body hair and phreomones