NCBI ROFL: Children smelling man-sweat… for science!

By ncbi rofl | August 18, 2011 7:00 pm

Age-related changes in children’s hedonic response to male body odor.

“Male sweat smells disgusting to many adults, but it is unclear whether children find it so. In Experiment 1A, children (mean age = 8.7 years) and adolescents (M=16.6 years) smelled male sweat and other odors, rated each for liking, and attempted their identification. Only female adolescents disliked male sweat and could identify it. Experiment 1B, using the same procedure, obtained this gender difference in adults (M=26.7 years). In Experiment 2, children (M=8.1 years) and adolescents (M=16.6 years) were cued about the identity of the same odors. Irrespective of gender, adolescents disliked male sweat more than did children. In sum, dislike for the odor of male sweat may be an acquired social response that is based on odor identification.”

Photo: flickr/ Phil Scoville

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  • Luciel

    Male sweat isn’t all that bad. It only stinks when the man’s unhealthy and the sweat stayed for quite a while.
    I remember not minding and even thinking it somewhat smells nice when I was a kid so there’s probably something more about the sweat those girls were made to smell.

    Plus old sweat vs fresh sweat is different! There’s a reason why socks stink more than sweaty feet!

  • compensation claims

    It sounds weird but its true. I am just a bit confused as to what should I say, because its doesn’t smells bad when you smell fresh armpit but yeah the one after few hard works or during extreme heat in summer it stinks really bad. Science really discovers few strange things. Hail Science!

  • Cleo

    I feel bad for the children who were used in this experiment! Male sweat is gross regardless of age or gender!


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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