Washington: If you think that the deo brand Old Spice's 'Smell Mantastic' campaign itself was clever enough, you are actually not all that wrong as a recent study has suggested that men, who wear the scented stuff, add a whiff of masculinity to the air.
New research by the University of Stirling found that men who are perceived low in masculinity can significantly increase this by applying deodorant, but that this is not the case for men who already have high levels of masculinity.
The study investigated what effect wearing deodorant has on assessing masculinity and femininity. 130 female and male participants rated facial masculinity and femininity using photographs and a further 239 men and women rated odour samples of 40 opposite sex individuals.
The research confirmed that females appear to be, in some way, more sensitive or attentive to odour cues than males. All women who were wearing deodorant were rated as more feminine-smelling by men compared to when they had no deodorant on.
Dr Caroline, who led the study, said the study found that when women apply a deodorant it does increase their rated body odour femininity, as would be expected. But, it seems as though something else is at play, when it comes to male body odour and male deodorants. 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.
Allen added that this means that men are able to use deodorant to artificially raise their game so to speak, levelling the playing field by making themselves comparable, at least as far as odour is concerned, to more masculine men.
The study appears in Evolution and Human Behavior....