Sunday, January 18, 2009

The odor of love.

There seems to be some evidence that people are attracted to members of the opposite sex based on the odor the other person gives off. The person of the opposite sex may give off a smell that signals that there genotype will produce children that are more immune to disease than either person is. This makes a lot of sense from an evolution stand point.

Why we are attracted to a particular member of the opposite sex has always interested me. In some cases there is a clear logic, the other person has money, the other person fits what you think you should have, etc. But often the choice makes little sense. You fall in love and you are not sure why. Falling in love only makes sense if it is seen as necessary for the survival of the species.

This concept has made me reevaluate why people are healthier today then they were 100 years ago. They are healthier. The general consensus has been that there is better nutrition and more immunization. I am sure this is true. But maybe it is not the whole truth. In the civil war soldiers from cities did better than rural soldiers in terms of getting diseases such as dysentery. Dysentery was a huge problem. It weakened whole armies. The argument has always been that city people had better immune systems because they had been exposed to more germs.

What if this is not the whole story. It is possible that the fact that city people have larger choices of mates meant that they were more likely to find someone with a complementary genotype. City folk were breeding healthier kids. I find this appealing because it argues for a wide open mating market. A mating market free from the need to stay within an ethnic, religious or racial group. Maybe bigots produce less healthy kids.

3 comments:

Cheap Essays said...

if you fall in love , you don't care whetherhe/she is rich or belongs to poor family... Love is always Blind... Its a nature to fall in love with opposite one..

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