Birth Control Pills They Change Women's Taste in Men

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This year 2.25
million Americans will get married – and a million will get divorced.
Could birth control be to blame for some of these breakups? Recent
research suggests that the contraceptive pill – which prevents
women from ovulating by fooling their body into believing it is
pregnant – could affect which types of men women desire. Going
on or off the pill during a relationship, therefore, may tempt a
woman away from her man.

It’s all
about scent. Hidden in a man’s smell are clues about his major
histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes, which play an important
role in immune system surveillance. Studies suggest that females
prefer the scent of males whose MHC genes differ from their own,
a preference that has probably evolved because it helps offspring
survive: couples with different MHC genes are less likely to be
related to each other than couples with similar genes are, and their
children are born with more varied MHC profiles and thus more robust
immune systems.

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October
12, 2009

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