Are humans primarily visual creatures?
People think that their first response to a physically attractive potential partner is due to visual input. That’s not accurate! If we were not already conditioned by human pheromones to respond to physical attributes, we could not develop an appropriate response to what we see.
Perhaps it’s easier to grasp this concept of odors and pheromones if you think about your food preferences. No matter how good it looks, if the odor isn’t right, you’re not going to be interested in the food. And no matter how good someone looks, you’re not going to be interested in them if their scent signature is not right.
Even when the chemicals were transferred to you in the womb, your experience with food chemistry before birth set the stage for your adult food preferences. Just as food odors cause changes in our physiology that are associated with hunger, ingestion, and satiety, human pheromones cause our physiology to change. With the human pheromone-induced changes in physiology come human pheromone-induced changes in behavior. The changes in physiology and behavior happen without thought; you don’t know that the changes are happening.
It’s even more difficult to comprehend how thoroughly human pheromones affect our behavior because we are not aware of their affects. We think about what we see, and — without thought — attribute attractive physical characteristics to our visual perception. In truth, however, we are very much like other animals. We know that they depend on their sense of smell for food choice and for mate choice. We are like other animals that don’t need to think about their choices. Neither do we –except that sometimes after-the-fact we may ask ourselves “What was I thinking?”