Scientists crack mystery of extramarital relations
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Scientists crack mystery of extramarital relations

Blame it on nose. Scientists have finally cracked why women are attracted to married men, reports Vijay Dutt.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2006 21:46 IST
Vijay Dutt

Blame extramarital relations on the nose. Scientists have finally cracked why women are attracted to married men. After studying mice - well, wives do smell a rat in a marriage -- British researchers say women may be genetically programmed to seek out men who carry the scent of their spouses' skin.

So perhaps Jennifer Aniston can relax. Angelina Jolie might have been attracted to the smell of the Friends star when she fell in love with Brad Pitt on the sets of Mr and Mrs Smith.

Did Shobhaa De know that her theory of south Indian heroines falling for married Punjabi heroes in Bollywood had an olfactory basis? Probably not, but an Indian psychiatrist says it could be a reason.

Elucidating further, scientists say that a woman finds a man, who carries the smell of another woman, more attractive than a "clean" man. Neurologist Donald Paff, who collected data from the mice world, says, "It could be seen as a female trusting the male choice of another female."

The key is the chemical oxytocin, nicknamed "attachment hormone", which is released during pregnancy, childbirth and sex. Female mice who had oxytocin were attracted to males who were attached. It could be the same for Homo sapiens.

Barry Keverne, Cambridge University professor, says females might be selecting those males because of a need for "sisterhood". Perhaps Brad Pitt should worry. "The odour may have made females believe the male was another female," says Keverne.

So if something is rotten in your marriage, woman, blame it on your smell. Even science let the man off so easily.

First Published: Mar 27, 2006 02:33 IST