A study published last month in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology shows that women drink more when exposed to male pheromones. Researchers Robin Tan and Mark S. Goldman assessed 103 women between the ages of 21 and 31 in the guise of a cologne study. Half the women smelled paper strips sprayed with androstenone, a pheromone found in human sweat, while the control group smelled paper strips sprayed with water. The women who smelled androstenone drank significantly more beer than the group who smelled water.
For reasons of safety and methodology, the women in the study consumed non-alcoholic beer. The researchers noted that very few of the women were ovulating at the time, making it an unlikely influence. The research team further speculates that women drank more when exposed to pheromones because alcohol lowers inhibitions and allows women to be more proactive about seeking sex.
“Social and sexual expectancies taken subsequent to drinking (to avoid unwanted manipulation influences) were correlated with drinking in the primed group but not in the neutral group,” the study says, “supporting the idea that information-processing pathways related to alcohol use had been engaged in the primed group.”
“These results indicate a potentially powerful influence on alcohol consumption that calls for continued investigation.”
- Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology: Exposure to male sexual scents (androstenone) influences women’s drinking (abstract).
- Maxim: Your masculine scent makes women want to drink more alcohol, study says.
- Metro: How a man smells can make women drink more alcohol.