[Paleopsych] What's the survival value ofposttraumaticstressdisorder?
andrewsa at newpaltz.edu
Tue May 17 11:38:06 UTC 2005
Hi Jim, That makes absolutely perfect
sense to me.
I was just yesterday talking to a
friend who is quite 'addicted' to her
fairly emotionally abusive boyfriend;
much of what she will say about why
she can't just be with a 'nice guy'
has a lot to do with the way this man
smells....Unfortunately, I too have
this 'problem'. I suggested to her
that the smell we might happen to like
is a combination of high testosterone
and some other personality traits --
that we are able to smell BPD,
narcissism, etc.(And not just PDs but
mental disorders such as bipolar,
too.) It would be quite an interesting
study to look at the Big-5 and see if
there are pheromonal
correlations...But anyway, back to
associations and conditioning (which
is relevant to your point re rape):
The first man I fell madly in love
with was probably borderline (BPD) and
a narcissist...And the few men after
him who smelled like him, well, I had
similar responses. My big query about
that has been: Is the huge attraction
to the scent something essential, i.e.
about 'matching' immune systems and
personalities, about desiring
something rare/special, about desiring
something disordered, about desiring
something that shows fitness, etc
etc...? Or is it just that I happened
to have fallen in love with a man who
happened to have had these particular
characteritics and smell, and now I'm
locked into it by association? Or a
little of both? I realize this is a
lot to share with Paleo..But I figure
everyone can handle it!
Also: Three years ago we corresponded
about love and pheromones and I got
your permission to post/share your
responses on EP-yahoo. I'm pasting
here because it's pretty interesting.
And exactly a year ago I wrote you an
email re the above question re
personality and pheromones. I no
longer have that email, but I do have
your response. Here's some of it... I
figure it's okay to share:
All the best!
Alice Andrews wrote:
Is there any evidence to suggest that
particular odors are signals
of particular personalities? Certainly
high testosterone and these
pheromones and personality must be
linked, no?Yes. Also, since stress
increases cortisol, which decreases
testosterone, a confident man's
pheromone production would be
indicative of reproductive fitness.
You know the type; acts
like he owns the joint, presents as an
alpha male, attracts most of the
The three men who share this
particular scent (musky, musty, almost
like mildew) all have similar
(a little boderline, narcissistic,
I'd be curious to know if there is
anything out there on any correlation.
have not found yet.)Watch out for the
schizoid. DHEA production varies and
so does the natural body odor of
schizophrenics. In homosexual males
it's the ratio of androsterone to
are the primary metabolites of DHEA.
Homosexuals prefer the odor of other
will be published later this year by
was wondering if there's any
literature on (or talk of) female
pheromones at ovulation
having the capability to alter or
inhibit or increase a particular type
of sperm-one that
is more likely to impregnate?
The egg has been described as an
active sperm-catcher; pretty sure we
cited this in my
no info I've seen indicates pheromonal
effects on type of sperm. This is an
nonetheless. I hope you follow up with
your inquiry to other experts.
are present on sperm cells (presumably
to guide them to the egg).
If such a sperm is more 'costly' in
some way to manufacture, it would make
sense that a
man would 'conserve' most 'fertile,'
sperm for when female was at her most
fertile. Or perhaps it is just as
simple as: when a
man detects pheromones most (or likes
them most), he is
most turned on and produces MORE
semen, thus more chance for
fertilization to occur. And
perhaps more normal sperm cells are
The literature I've seen indicates a
continuum of sperm production based on
(LH) and follicle stimulating hormone
(FSH), with FSH being largely
development. However, it
is an LH surge that accompanies both
ovulation in women, and a testosterone
men exposure to
ovulatory women's pheromones
(copulins). There is also some
literature (Sperm Wars) that
aniticipatory volume of semen, but no
indications of sperm quality as I
Sorry I can't be of more help, (read
that your book got Jim Brody's
I sometimes wonder if the feelings of
Love during conception could possibly
quality of sperm, too...
etc in woman feeling love during
(copulins) pheromones (type or
affect sperm quality???
And/or 'love chemicals' in men simply
affecting sperm quality etc....???
A possibility, since many if not all
neuronal systems feedback on
the gonadotropin releasing hormone
neuronal system, which drives
everything about reproduction (and, of
course, is directly affected
by pheromones.) An example: increasing
estrogen levels are linked
to increased oxytocin release with
orgasm in women. If oxytocin also
increased with testosterone, bonding
would be facilitated. Perhaps
the bonding mechanism influences
fertility. Or maybe something so
simple as the immune system functions
of paired mates adjusting to
the ongoing presence of a mate,
facilitating conception via immune
system interaction with sperm
production. Much to think about; more
----- Original Message -----
From: JV Kohl
To: Alice Andrews ; The new improved
Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 12:24 AM
Subject: Re: [Paleopsych] What's the
I've long thought that the link
between PTSD and rape is olfactory.
War vets response triggered by smoke;
women's response triggered by the
natural scent of a man--or event
associated odors: alcohol, etc. The
scent of a man can evoke chemical
changes in reproductive hormone
levels, which would also affect
The association with natural
masculine scent is most likely to
alter intimacy with a rape victim's
She will respond to him,
unfortunately, as her traumatized body
responded to the rape.
I wonder how much you've heard, read
about the olfactory connection--and
how much validity you think
there is to it.
Alice Andrews wrote:
Her chemistry will change, and
depending on where she is
developmentally (her life-history),
her personality may actually change!
(Pre, say, 25 years of age).
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