- Men and women who are unable to smell had higher levels of social insecurity than the healthy controls.
- In men but not women, lacking a sense of smell led to fewer relationships. The men with a faulty sense of smell averaged two partners compared with 10 for healthy men.
- When comparing the two groups of women, the smell and no-smell groups had the same average number of sexual partners (four) but the women who couldn't smell well lacked confidence in their partners — they were 20 percent less secure in their relationships.
In other words, the smell-challenged are far less confident when it comes to dating and relationships. But why? From an evolutionary perspective, our olfactory sense is the oldest of the senses. It may, on some basic level, convey a lot of important information about a person and their ability to be a good genetic match for us.
The study speculated that for men, a lack of a sense of smell may make them less adventurous, that such men could have more problems assessing and communicating with other people. It's a bit like lacking the ability to read people, something we usually attribute to factors other than smell. For women, lacking a sense of smell had no impact on their relationships with close friends, suggesting that smell plays a role for women, specifically when it comes to their partners.
What do you think? Can you think of any particular way that smell has influenced your interest (or lack of interest) in a man or woman?
Article originally published on christiehartman.com.