Men's preferences for women's body odours are not associated with human leucocyte antigen

Probst, Fabian; Fischbacher, Urs; Lobmaier, Janek S.; Wirthmüller, Urs; Knoch, Daria (2017). Men's preferences for women's body odours are not associated with human leucocyte antigen. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological sciences, 284(1864), pp. 1-6. The Royal Society 10.1098/rspb.2017.1830

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Body odours reportedly porhay information about an individual's genotype at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC, called human leucoryte antigen, HLA, in humans). While there is strong experimental support for MHCassociated mating behaviour in animals, the sifuation in humans is more comple><. A lot of effort has been spent on testing HlA-associated odour preferences of women. To date, only very few sfudies have looked at HlA-linked olfactory preferences in men and these studies have revealed inconsistent results. Here, we investigate men's HlA-associated preferences for women's body odours. Importantly, and in contrast to previous studies, these odours were gathered at peak fertility (i.e. jusf before ovulation) when any HlA-associated odour prcferences should be strongest. We scrutinized whether menls preference for women's body odours is influenced by (i) the number of shared HLA alleles between men and women, (ii) HLA heterozygosity, and (iii) the frequenry of rare HLA alleles. We found that men could readily differentiate between odours they found attractive and odours they found less attractive, but that these preferences wer€ not associated with HLA. Specifically, men did not prefer odours ftom women who are HLA dissirnilar, HLA heterozygous, or who have rare HLA alleles. Together, these findings suggest that HLA has no effect on men's odour preferences.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Institute of Clinical Chemistry
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Probst, Fabian; Lobmaier, Janek; Wirthmüller, Urs and Knoch, Daria

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

1471-2954

Publisher:

The Royal Society

Language:

English

Submitter:

Irène Gonce-Gyr

Date Deposited:

29 Mar 2018 14:13

Last Modified:

30 Mar 2018 06:32

Publisher DOI:

10.1098/rspb.2017.1830

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.113541

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/113541

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