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The Way Men Smell Causes Women to Drink More

The good, the bad and the ugly things we learned about our bodies today

For better or worse, drinking and fucking have always been held in holy matrimony: The more you drink, the more likely you are to be involved in risky sexual behaviors like having unprotected sex, contracting syphilis and dying. In a way, it’s all very Romeo and Juliet. And if you’re Juliet in this syphilis-inspired tragedy, researchers have recently found that just the smell of Romeo is enough to cause you to drink more.

Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of South Florida decided to explore how a man’s scent can affect a woman’s decision to drink, after carrying out a similar experiment on men. The previous investigation demonstrated how the scents emitted by women who were at the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle prompted men to drink an increased amount of alcohol.

This time, however, the researchers used 103 women from the ages of 21 and 31, who believed they were taking part in a consumer survey for men’s cologne and drinks to figure out whether the same could be said for the other way around.

They were presented with fragrance strips that had been sprayed with either manufactured androstenone, a pheromone found in boar’s saliva, or plain water. They were then given two, 12-ounce glasses of non-alcoholic beer each.

The women who had been exposed to the androstenone scent drank more than those who hadn’t, consuming approximately one tenth a 12-ounce glass of beer more over the course of 10 minutes. Which admittedly, isn’t a lot more, but unless you’re speed dating, hopefully your romantic encounters last longer than 10 minutes.

“We inferred that detection of male sexual scents, even in the absence of awareness, may instigate drinking because of the longstanding cultural association between alcohol use and sex,” the study stated.

The researchers admit that while the results from the laboratory may not necessarily correlate with real-life circumstances, the two studies add further evidence to our understanding of how scent can influence the amount of alcohol men and women drink.

Next up, researchers are planning to test whether the scent of smelly dicks is enough to make a woman never want to have sex again. Stay tuned!

A few other things we learned about our bodies today:

It’s not all smelly: Hair color also influences how you’re viewed by the opposite sex.

According to a new study on rodents, your body’s internal scale may sense and fight against weight gain.

Love your flab, because it turns out that excess body fat helps protect you from infections.

Women can spot narcissists and psychopaths, even when they’re drunk.

And in today’s no-duh drinking and sex news, drunk guys are more likely to check out a woman’s body.