Your Odor Could Determine Your Political Mate

Your Odor Could Determine Your Political Mate

The human condition never ceases to amaze and with this ugly, divisive, judgmental political season science may be a factor when it comes to choosing a like-minded mate. Research indicates a subtle scent you may emit that locks into another persons “antennae” that is assumed nature has installed for none other than good ole’ procreation. It turns out that no matter how much you soap, shampoo, condition, lotion, perfume or cologne, your body odor seeps through. This is your primitive code which triggers all sorts of cognitive responses by those around you and, according to various studies, could determine choosing a political counterpart.

The Odor Print Factor

Body odor is like a fingerprint, sometimes referred to as an ‘odor print’. Beyond bad hygiene, underneath it all the natural human scent is unique to each individual. For instance, according to an article in Prevention magazine, a compilation of studies show how body odor is a driving factor in many aspects of your life.

These include:

  • Indicating stress
  • Displaying health issues – In one study, Prevention reports that scientists injected study participants with a compound that would ramp up their immune system—similar to if they were sick—volunteers who smelled the T-shirts the “sick” participants wore were able to identify that they were more likely sick than participants injected with a placebo.”
  • Mate selection – According to Gary Beauchamp, a biopsychologist and former director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, “The idea that smell plays a role in finding a mate is probably true for most animals, and may be one of many characteristics that contribute to human mate selection,”
  • Attracting or discouraging mosquitoes

Mate selection using body odor recently went beyond simple attraction and delved into the possible indication of political likes and dislikes.

Measuring Your Odor Campaign

A study published in the American Journal of Political Science researched how subjects reacted to body smells of unknown participants that donated their scent and political affiliation. The results showed significant responses by the ‘smellers’ regarding like-minded political counterparts.

Out of 146 participants, researchers studied various genders ages 18-40 from a large northeast state in the US. Each was sent home with fragrance-free soap and shampoo and a gauze pad taped to their armpit. They were told not to smoke, drink, use deodorant, perfume, cologne, have sex, eat fragrant foods, sleep with anyone else or pets, or be around strong odors. After 24 hours the armpit patches were collected and presented to 125 participants who smelled each one while cleansing their nasal palette in-between with peppermint oil.

According to the study,

“The sniffers, who never saw the people whose smells they were evaluating, then rated the attractiveness of each armpit sample on a 1 to 5 scale. The subjects found the smell of those more ideologically similar to themselves more attractive than those with opposing views.”

Follow Your Nose

This is yet another indication of how subtle human interaction can be even when we think we have it all sewn up within the first five minutes of meeting someone. It is also a possible indication of why couples may split up having overridden their natural instincts to only find out later how important these subtleties were in the first place. This is summed up in the conclusion of the study stating,

“It is important to recognize that olfactory processes operate within complex social dynamics and environmental contexts. This is particularly true of humans who can override or alter the importance of chemical signals for conscious reasons. In humans, attraction remains idiosyncratic and culturally informed, with greater emphasis placed on physical and sociocultural features. Various aspects of attraction indicative of fecundity, such as youth, beauty, hip-to-waist ratio in women, and the ability to provide resources in men have historically represented cross-cultural norms, to some degree. Nevertheless, such behaviors do not necessarily obviate the basic “chemistry” that influences how individuals feel toward specific others. We suggest olfaction [sense of smell] provides a similar signal of compatibility to potential mates.”

Once again biology trumps social norms and expectations. Just think, if your odor can determine your political mate there must be a whole world of subtle biological markers that cause us to gyrate into one another’s arms. Therefore, listen to your mind and body signals and you may come out smelling like roses in the end.