Previous studies have shown that olfactory function plays an essential role in the bonding of a romantic relationship. Body odors, in particular, seem involved in both mate choices and other intimate behaviors. Our sense of smell is also crucial to detect possible pathogen threats, by activating a suitable disgust reaction. Previous studies have shown that disgust sensitivity is negatively related to sociosexuality, and disgust generally inhibits our sexual drive. In the present study, we explored the possible relation between olfactory function, pathogen disgust sensitivity, sociosexuality, sexual well-being, and infidelity through a web survey. Our exploratory analyses found that, in a large Italian sample (N = 1107), among those in a stable relationship, self-reported olfactory function predicted sexual well-being (p <.05) and negatively predicted infidelity (p <.05) when controlling for other relevant sociodemographics variables. Moreover, the relation between self-reported olfactory function and sexual well-being was mediated by pathogen disgust sensitivity. Although significant, these results must be interpreted with caution, because the effect sizes were small.

The Scent of Monogamy: Self-Reported Olfactory Function Predicts Sexual Well-Being and Infidelity in an Italian Population

Izzo G.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Vaccaro M. G.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Brunetti A.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Aversa A.
Conceptualization
;
Liuzza M. T.
Supervision
2022-01-01

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that olfactory function plays an essential role in the bonding of a romantic relationship. Body odors, in particular, seem involved in both mate choices and other intimate behaviors. Our sense of smell is also crucial to detect possible pathogen threats, by activating a suitable disgust reaction. Previous studies have shown that disgust sensitivity is negatively related to sociosexuality, and disgust generally inhibits our sexual drive. In the present study, we explored the possible relation between olfactory function, pathogen disgust sensitivity, sociosexuality, sexual well-being, and infidelity through a web survey. Our exploratory analyses found that, in a large Italian sample (N = 1107), among those in a stable relationship, self-reported olfactory function predicted sexual well-being (p <.05) and negatively predicted infidelity (p <.05) when controlling for other relevant sociodemographics variables. Moreover, the relation between self-reported olfactory function and sexual well-being was mediated by pathogen disgust sensitivity. Although significant, these results must be interpreted with caution, because the effect sizes were small.
2022
Disgust
Infidelity
Olfaction
Sexual behavior
Sociosexuality
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12317/72365
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