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April 03, 2004

Chicks dig "old man" smell???

Well, I missed this story from a few years back that indicates women like the smells of men who have HLA genes like their father, but not their mother. This conflicts with an earlier study that women prefer the smells of men with HLA alleles variant from their own. Please note, HLA genes are highly polymorphic, and population geneticists spend a lot of time "explaining" why so much diversity should remain in the human population (the old diversity-is-the-best-protection-against-disease comes up, and in college I was told that the relative lack of HLA diversity in Native Americans due to founder effect was one reason why Old World diseases were so good at killing large numbers of them).

Posted by razib at 10:07 AM