What is the truth about high testosterone levels and pheromones?
According to research, most women at their peak fertility have a preference for men with higher testosterone levels – aka T levels.
For example, when in a fertile phase, a woman will (generally speaking) favour deep voices, manly features and/or other characteristics associated with high T levels.
Moreover, on a biological standpoint, this would also suggest that fertile women are more inclined to be attracted to men with high levels of cortisol (stress hormone) – which may be involved in a more robust immune system.
So really, what’s the truth about high testosterone levels and pheromones? You know, in layman terms…
Full disclaimer: I do not possess an academic scientific background. On the other hand, I do have serious searching skills, a forever love for healthy habits and I will gladly write for you the most objective info possible.
The Truth about High Testosterone Levels and Pheromones
Back to the Basics – Pheromones
Let’s do a little bit of science for the sake of a better understanding.
Pheromones are natural substances secreted by an individual and received by another individual of the same species. The phenomenon has been extensively studied in animals. However, when it comes to us, the big thinking mammals, the role of pheromones is still not entirely understood.
Yet, we do know that pheromones can be detected by our sense of smell and may be present in most bodily secretions. However, so far, they have only been found in armpit sweat.
For instance, one of these pheromones, a steroidal compound called androstadienone is found in higher concentrations in masculine sweat and can definitely be detected by women.
It’s been shown that the application of a similar chemical on the upper-lip of women resulted in improved mood and heightened focus! Especially, when it comes to capturing emotional information. (1)
Moreover, other studies have associated a positive mood to an easier sexual response in women. Also, androstadienone seems to be beneficial on increasing libido (aka sexual desire) and arousal.
Clearly, it seems that human pheromones have a beneficial impact on increasing sexual response.
However, how does that correlate with high testosterone levels?
Back to the Basics – Pheromones & High T levels
A recent study analysed the brains of 24 women and men while they were smelling chemicals almost identical to the sexual hormones, testosterone and oestrogen – respectively the main male and female sexual hormones.
Researchers found that these man-made “pheromones” showed a clear reaction in both men and women. Both brains “turned on” when smelling these chemicals. (2)
What’s really interesting is that it’s a very specific part of the brain that actually responded to the smells of the chemical and usually, this part – the hypothalamus – does not respond to regular odours.
The brains of the women in the study activated when they smelled a chemical similar to testosterone. And vice versa for the men, who’s brains showed a response to the oestrogen-like chemical.
Clearly, women seem to react physiologically to testosterone. As such, it wouldn’t be a stretch to theorise that men with higher levels of testosterone are potentially more attractive to women.
Well, it is a bit of a stretch but not an insane one.
Let’s look at it from another perspective…
Generally, men with healthy T levels have less risk of disease, a better overall health and a very well functioning reproductive system.
Thus, regardless of pheromones, a man with normal or higher than average T levels may be a more suited “mate”.
Additionally, healthy T levels and overall good health can also be seen. For instance, a person’s body fat tends to be lower, the skin brighter and healthy looking, and muscle mass is increased.
Conclusion: The Truth about High Testosterone Levels and Pheromones
So, when it comes to the truth about high testosterone levels and pheromones, there’s a link but it isn’t exactly a clear one.
For instance, we do know that there is a clear relationship between pheromones and levels of attraction, and arousal. However, how these mechanisms work is still a work in progress.
Consequently, we can only hypothesize at this point but still, the higher and healthier your testosterone levels, the more attractive you will be. You know… on a very primal level!
And another implication of healthy T levels is confidence. A fit and healthy person will generally have an improved mental health.
So, all in all, let’s just say that a solid level of testosterone can only be beneficial – maybe for your pheromones but without a doubt, for your health, reproductive and of course, sexual life!
This article was written by Michael King.
(1) Pheromones and their effect on women’s mood and sexuality. J. Verhaeghe, R. Gheysen and P. Enzlin. Facts Views Vis Obgyn. 2013
(2) Sex differentiated hypothalamic activation by putative pheromones. Savic I. Mol Psychiatry. 2002