Our body sends all kinds of substances into the world. Some that you can see, some that you can smell a little too well, but there are also some that we do not consciously perceive. However, these substances, which for example are in our breath or which are released from our skin, can contain an important message.
They might even influence the behavior of those around us. To test this, Israeli scientists looked at the odorless substance hexadecanal, or HEX. They let the men and women smell the stuff and watch what was going on in their brains. In men, they saw activity in the brain that indicates reduced aggressiveness, but in women, they saw activity that indicates increased aggressiveness.
Well, HEX can be found in large quantities on the heads of newborns, so it wouldn’t be surprising if it was an evolutionary trick of the animal kingdom to keep the little ones safe. Where women with a little more aggressiveness can better protect their offspring, and men with a little less are less threatening.
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