Sexual Chemistry in Monkeys: The Effect of Vaginal Secretions on Male Sexuality

  • Gordon D. Jensen
  • Ethel Sassenrath
Part of the Perspectives in Sexuality book series (Persp. Sex.)


The reports that vaginal secretions, and particularly certain chemical compounds in them, motivate sexual behavior of male rhesus monkeys (Michael and Keverne 1968, Curtis et al. 1971) attracted a great deal of interest by professionals and the laity. These studies inspired an investigation of the chemical composition of vaginal secretions in women (Sokolov et al. 1976) and have lent support to the long held notion that body odors have an effect on human sexuality.


Sexual Behavior Wooden Block Inanimate Object Body Odor Intact Female 
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  1. Curtis, R.F., Ballantine, J.A., Keverne, E.B., Bonsall, R.W. and Michael, R.P. (1971). Identification of primate sexual pheromones and the properties of synthetic attractants. Nature 232:396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Goldfoot, D.A., Kravetz, M.A. , Goy, R.W., and Freeman, S.K. (1976). Lack of effect of vaginal lavages and aliphatic acids on ejaculatory responses in rhesus monkeys: Behavior and chemical analysis. Hormone and Behavior, 7:1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Michael, R.P. and Keverne, E.B. (1968). Pheromones in the communication of sexual status in primates. Nature 218:746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Sokolov, J.J., Harris, R.T., and Hecker, M.R. (1976). Isolation of substances from human vaginal secretions previously shown to be sex attractant pheromones in higher primates. Archives of Sexual Behavior 5:269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon D. Jensen
    • 1
  • Ethel Sassenrath
    • 1
  1. 1.USA

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