Thursday, January 24, 2008

unsubstaniated but interesting scientific claims

We've all read about the role of smell in attraction (& the t-shirt test) e.g. having MHC too similar to a partner's is problematic for progeny so we are attracted to people who's MHC is significantly different from ours. Time touched on this in a recent article on love & mentioned an unsettling hypothesis:

Precise as the MHC-detection system is, it can be confounded. One thing that throws us off the scent is the birth-control pill. Women who are on the Pill—which chemically simulates pregnancy—tend to choose wrong in the T-shirt test. When they discontinue the daily hormone dose, the protective smell mechanism kicks back in. "A colleague of mine wonders if the Pill may contribute to divorce," says Wysocki. "Women pick a husband when they're on birth control, then quit to have a baby and realize they've made a mistake."
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