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Sexual Attraction Is Shaped by Gut Bacteria, Infectious Diseases, and Parasites | Kathleen McAuliffe

Behind our sexual impulses — who we feel attracted to and why — complex biological interactions help determine our feelings, our obsessions, our repulsions… Kathleen McAuliffe’s book is This Is Your Brain on Parasites: How Tiny Creatures Manipulate Our Behavior and Shape Society (goo.gl/ABWKv).

Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/kathleen-mcauliffe-and-impact-of-disease-on-sexual-attraction-and-fecal-transplants

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Transcript – There’s a few ways in which infectious disease may impact who we find sexually attractive. So for example, in cultures where infectious disease is highly prevalent people tend to place more emphasis on beauty. So skin free of any kind of pockmarks, and also more symmetrical features. Because what happens is that if you have an infectious disease when you’re young it can derail development and that’s part of the reason why people’s features may be a little bit more asymmetric if they’re more vulnerable to infectious disease. There’s also evidence that we’re more attractive to people whose odors signify that they have very different immune systems from ourselves. And the way it works is this that believe it or not odor correlates with how your immune system functions. And we all vary individually in how susceptible we are to different kinds of infection and basically the research suggests that we’re most attracted to people who are most different from us in terms of how their immune system functions. Read Full Transcript Here: https://goo.gl/vvgXqD.

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