So I’m reading How Sex Works and I come across discussion of a study on how people respond to body odor, specifically how “four categories [of persons] – heterosexual men, heterosexual women, homosexual men, and homosexual women - ... indicate their preference among odors collected from ‘odor donors’ in the same four categories.”
Let’s skip over the methodology and get right to the rather queer results:
“Homosexual males, heterosexual females, and lesbians preferred odors from heterosexual males over odors from gay males,” the study stated. “Gay males preferred odors from other gay males … Heterosexual males, heterosexual females, and lesbians over the age of 15 (but not those 18-25) preferred odors from lesbians over odors from gay males … Finally, gay males preferred odors from heterosexual females over those from heterosexual males.”
Last I remember reading about odor studies like this the results were of the men-prefer-the-smell-of-women-women-prefer-the-smell-of-men variety, with zero consideration of sexual orientation. I’m glad some scientists are being more open to subtlety and variety. The study’s results, though, what can one say of them? Hm. This deserves more study?
source: How Sex Works: why we look, smell, taste, feel, and act the way we do (2009) Dr. Sharon Moalem