17 April, 2009

The laws of sexual attraction

Physical attraction may be as old as time, but new studies are beginning to uncover the science behind sex appeal. Unexpected factors -- like biochemical odors, face shape and voice pitch -- just might have more to do with your choice of mate than anyone ever expected.

Biostatistics expert Kendra Schmid explains why actress Halle Berry scored very high on facial attractiveness.

Karl Grammer and Elizabeth Oberzaucher are leading the research on the human scent's influence on sexual attraction. They've found that when women are ovulating, they produce copulins, a scent that attracts men.

The researchers believe when a man gets a whiff of copulins, his testosterone levels rise. As a result, he secretes androstenone, an odor that repels women who aren't ovulating.

"Bars and nightclubs across the world are the battlefield for this invisible biochemical war," Oprah Winfrey says.

Sex therapist Dr. Laura Berman says attraction has a lot more to do with science and evolution than people might think.

"We are innately all puppies in heat," she says. "We are capable of discerning 10,000 different scents consciously. But then there's a whole realm of unconscious scents that we're not even aware that we're smelling." Oprah.com: Get Dr. Berman's 5 steps to better sex

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