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How the Pill May Influence a Woman's Choice of Partner

It's a fairly well-known fact that odor plays an important role when selecting a partner. This includes the scents that you cannot consciously detect, such as pheromones. (A few years ago, researchers discovered that a specific olfactory nerve, dubbed "Nerve O," appears to be the route through which pheromones are processed. Nerve "O" has endings in your nasal cavity, but the fibers go directly to the sexual regions of your brain. Because Nerve O bypasses your olfactory cortex, it does not register a conscious smell, but rather identifies chemical sexual cues.)

Humans, like animals, also have major histocompatibility complex-associated (MHC) odor preferences that influence their choice of mates. Researchers have discovered that women, in general, prefer the body odor of men with dissimilar MHC. It is believed that this may be part of a natural selection process to prevent and control genetic inbreeding. When partners have similar MHC, their chances of successfully reproducing are diminished.

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However, when a woman is on the Pill, her odor preferences change. The Pill essentially mimics pregnancy, and when a woman is pregnant, she tends to prefer the scent of men with similar MHC as her own—perhaps as a biological cue to now seek out and bond with supportive family members as opposed to potential mates. Thinning hair