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Mind & Mood
You don’t say? The smell of love
- By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
Pheromones are often called "love chemicals." The substances are produced by many animals and insects to attract the opposite sex. For example, a male moth senses chemicals secreted by a distant fertile female, drops what he’s doing, and seeks her out to mate.
Experts disagree on whether pheromones exist in humans and, if they do, whether they actually influence behavior. Yet, some small studies suggest that the smells of certain chemicals can stimulate sexual responses in both men and women.
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About the Author
Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
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The physical transformations the body undergoes with age have a major influence on sexuality. This Special Health Report, Sexuality in Midlife and Beyond, will take you through the stages of sexual response and explain how aging affects each. You’ll also learn how chronic illnesses, common medications, and emotional issues can influence your sexual capabilities. Finally, you’ll find a detailed discussion of various medical treatments, counseling, and self-help techniques to address the most common types of sexual problems.
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