Pheromones and Human Evolution (What is the fauceir stance?)

Male pheromone perfume.

Male pheromone perfume.

A study  identified a new male urinary pheromone, darcin, that stimulates female’s sexual memory and attraction to an odor of a specific male (in mice). It is not a pheromone, as so many other described before, that makes females more willing to have sex. Instead it is a pheromone that makes a female stick to a specific male. In other words, it guarantees by reprogramming the brain a female’s fidelity (in mice). If the same existed in men, it would allow for the following implications:

  1. Females need to smell a male’s urine to fall in love and to stay attached. Well this was not a problem in stone age, I suppose, when no proper hygiene standards existed. It was not a problem among peasants still, where the hygiene remained poor and the wife had enough opportunity to smell her husbands clothes while washing them. (Here probably lays the reason why laundry was a female task for centuries. Simply, cultures in accordance with an other custom produced less offspring and went extinct.) The problems with infidelity and infertility began with rising hygiene standards, the use of perfumes, and the handing over of the laundry to servants or washing machines. The upper class, accordingly, experienced these problems earlier than the general population. Well, I cannot say at this point whether these observations are related. It might be simply coincidence, and there are scores of other explanations for these phenomena, but it is supporting evidence though.
  2. At this point, I wont dwell on the question whether certain sexual practices may have a bearing on a couple’ mutual devotion. This might be studied by anonymous questionnaires and probably such studies already exist.
  3. Now taking the fauceir perspective, we may conclude that biological fauceirs as the pheromone system that controlled a partnership between humans in the past have been subsequently overruled by social fauceirs, customs and law, marriage for instance, that finally became stronger than the original, biological, ones. By the time, loss-of-function mutations to the biological system of fidelity had a minor importance for fitness and not have been negatively selected any more. After all human evolution is shaped by culture. Consequently, if we want to study whether pheromones play or played a role in human behavior we have to study humans that are less domesticated as did the authors of the study when they specifically took wild mice for their experiments.

Given the wide range of variation among present day humans and the rapidly further diverging traits, I assume people differently respond. Therefore a pheromone perfume would not have the same effect on every female. There will be someone who is not pleased but intensely annoyed.

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2 thoughts on “Pheromones and Human Evolution (What is the fauceir stance?)

  1. You may be overlooking the semiochemical value of social kissing, where pheromone receptor proteins are passed. These pheromone receptor proteins (or pheromone binding proteins, pbp’s) enable bonding to specific people. See my book: Of Love KISSES PASS EPIGENETIC PHEROMONES IN THE PATHOGENESIS OF SOCIOPATHY, ‘MENTAL ILLNESS’ AND DISEASE The Cure for Crime. The Cure for Drug Addiction. http://tinyurl.com/y8vxlxp

    • Thank you for this book suggestion. Thank you for mentioning the bearing on social and mental pathologies. I already mentioned some possibly historical consequences as I’m mostly concerned about evolutionary questions in biology and history and their interplay. There are certainly connections with mental and social disorders as they also are disturbed fauceirs. I’m eager to learn Steven Novellas POV whose opinions as a neurologist and clinician I appreciate.

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