Women Find Men More Masculine When Wearing Deodorant

You may think deodorant as something to make you smell better, but new research finds women perceive men who wear the stuff as more masculine. University of Stirling researchers had 130 participants rate the facial masculinity and femininity of people in photographs, and an additional 239 participants rated odor samples of 40 opposite sex individuals. The data revealed that all women who were wearing deodorant were rated as more feminine-smelling by men compared to when they had no deodorant on. Women rated the men into two groups– those with low facial masculinity, and those with high facial masculinity. When the men did not wear deodorant, women gave the two different facial types different masculinity scores. When the men both wore deodorant, they both got the same masculinity scores. Study leader Dr. Caroline Allen explains, “Only those men who were rated low in masculinity to start with showed a significant increase after applying their deodorants, and the men who were highly masculine initially showed no increase after deodorant application. This means that men are able to use deodorant to artificially raise their game so to speak, leveling the playing field by making themselves comparable, at least as far as odor is concerned ,to more masculine men. Our evolutionary preferences have likely shaped this difference in fragrance design.” (EurekAlert!