Study: Sexual orientation determines reactions to pheromones

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A new study has found a link between a person’s sexual orientation and their ability to react to different pheromones.

Conducted by researcher Wen Zhou and published in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the study found gay men and straight women responded to male pheromones but not females pheromones.

The study exposed participants to either the pheromone androstadienone, commonly found in sweat and semen, or estratetraenol, found in female urine.

Those exposed were then tested to see it impacted their gender presentations of a simulated person walking toward them.

Gay men and straight women were more likely to perceive the figure as masculine when exposed to the male pheromone, but were not influenced by the female pheromone.

In contrast, straight men were more likely to perceive femininity when exposed to the female pheromone, while lesbian and bisexual women had a more mixed reaction.

According to Zhou, the study suggests that both pheromones are in fact sex pheromones that communicate information about gender.

The Chinese author also implies that the results infer a biological component to sexuality, based on the fact that results differed based on participants’ sexual orientation.

A study published in 2005 also posted evidence in correspondence with Zhou’s results.

Swedish researchers found that gay men responded differently to two odours that are thought to be involved in sexual arousal.