Pheromones: Will they make you irresistible?

The 16 oz. bottle of body wash Magnetic comes with four simple directions on its back label : 1. Squeeze out. 2. Lather up. 3. Rinse off 4. Stand Back and Watch the Magic Happen.
Why they decided to capitalize each word in step four is anyone’s guess, but the reason a liquid soap is boasting magical ability comes from Magnetic’s claim to be “pheromone infused.” The pheromone in question is called androstadienone. The website has a bottle of the pheromone for sale at $49.95 and the page makes this claim, “It is reported that Androstadienone Pheromone is a strong sex pheromone that can be used by men and women and is great for picking up the opposite sex.”
All is not well with these pheromone claims, which is why Dial, the maker of Magnetic, is currently in a lawsuit for false advertising over their product. An article from, posted September 2013, describes the case, “The plaintiffs, Robert Margolis and Frank Ortega, filed a putative class action against The Dial Corporation, and its affiliated companies, alleging that the defendants’ sale and marketing of their product line, Dial for Men Magnetic Attraction Enhancing Body Wash, was purchased based on the defendants’ claims that the products ‘have pheromones in them that attract women.’” In simpler terms, two men who tried Magnetic body wash, failed to get dates while wearing the product. On August 23, 2013 the Southern District of California denied Dial’s attempt to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims of false advertising.
There still remain professional proponents of human pheromones such as Dr. Martha McClintock. McClintock’s claim came from researching women who lived in the same dormitory and experienced synchronized menstrual cycles. The culprit for this? The women absorbing each other’s pheromones. This phenomena has been aptly named The McClintock Effect.
There are also skeptics such as Richard L Doty, Ph.D. In 2010 he published a book titled, The Great Pheromone Myth. In the book Dr. Doty says, “Whether humans have pheromones was heralded by Science magazine in 2005 as one of the top 100 outstanding scientific questions of the era, emphasizing the importance of this issue to the scientific community at large.” He proceeds to challenge not only human, but mammalian pheromones in his study’s conclusion, “Based upon both empirical and theoretical grounds, I conclude that mammalian pheromones do not exists despite our continued fascination with the pheromone concept, number claims of the chemical isolation of pheromones, and the expenditure of millions on the part of the industry and government to find such entities.”
Whether human pheromones exist or not, they would be vestigial at best. The naked ape that human beings are, has a large brain and sees in color. It understands body language and facial expressions. It can use pick-up lines and flirtations. Human attraction has evolved into something more complex than animal instinct. It cannot be bottled and sold on the shelf of a Target, or purchased as a perfume over the internet. To explain things scientifically, the article Birds do it. Bugs do it. But why don’t we? quotes biologist Jianzhi “George” Zhang on pheromones and the evolutionary process, “Color vision made pheromones unnecessary.” Zhang goes on to explain that this is why we often see monkeys and apes with rumps that brighten when the primate is sexually available. In turn we have evolved to take visual cues.

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