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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.