Men can smell when women are sexually aroused -- and find them more attractive when they are, according to a new study. The findings, published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, suggested that men can distinguish between the scents of sexually aroused and non-aroused women.
The detection of sexual arousal through smell may function as an additional channel in the communication of sexual interest and provide further verification of human sexual interest, according to the researchers.
'The present studies suggest that men are sensitive to the olfactory signals of sexual arousal released by women," said Arnaud Wisman from the University of Kent in the UK.
"This research suggests that these signals released along with corresponding visual and auditory expressions of sexual interest can produce a stronger overall signal that increases sexual motivation," Wisman added.
According to the researchers, previous studies have concluded that humans can communicate and detect emotions such as fear or sadness through scent.
Sexual arousal is also identified as an emotional physical state.
Findings were established through three different experiments where men processed the scents of axillary sweat samples from anonymous sexually aroused and non-aroused women.
Specifically, experiment one revealed that men evaluate the axillary sweat of sexually aroused women as more attractive, compared to the scent of the same women when not sexually aroused.
In addition, experiment two showed that exposure to sexual chemosignals increased the men's sexual arousal.
Experiment three found support for the thesis that exposure to sexual chemosignals would increase sexual motivation.
Men evaluated the scent of sexually aroused women as relatively more attractive and this increased their sexual motivation, the study said.
This suggests that the chemical signals of scent alone can elicit a sexual response in recipients.
"Sexual interest may entail more than meets the eye and we hope that the current findings encourage further research to examine the role of sexual olfactory signals in human communication," Wisman concluded.