Biology – Makes sense, but then I Marvel.

29 May

It doesn’t strike me funny as I pass an air freshener, get a whiff of deodorant, or walk behind a trail of perfume or cologne and want to gag. Lack of desiring scents makes sense in pregnancy.

It is our sense of smell that gets us in to relationships (and eventually marriage where you make a baby) in the first place. When I was in college, one of my fellow bio major roommates shared an intriguing research study done with smells (specifically body odor) and attraction. Women were asked to wear the same t-shirt for a number of days without bathing. Then, guys came in later and smelled the shirts and ranked them. Interestingly enough, the guys picked the t-shirts of women who had the most different immune system from their own.  This is a perfect and beautiful example of biology. In order for our young to survive, we seek out traits that are different from our own. It is genetic diversity and contributes to survival of the fittest. This type of mate selection is totally normal and natural, and most people will never even realize the real reason behind why they chose a mate. So, biology makes sense!

If we continued desiring and pursuing smelly people and continued with reproductive (mating) behavior WHILE pregnant, the young’s father would get angry (rightly so) and either abandon or eat the young (okay, maybe not the latter).  So, there is nature, preserving our future generations.  Thank you, biology.

Here is where I marvel: morning sickness (and what idiot named it morning sickness, when it is really all-day-long sickness?). While it totally makes sense to be repelled by scent, I turn green when I pass by greens (and every other colored food). It just doesn’t make sense. I am growing a baby. My body needs to provide good nutrition to the growing fetus. What it we didn’t live in a time of prenatal vitamins?  I will give a gold star to whomever can biologically crack this case (or maybe just a hearty “thank you”).


Here is one study I found similar to the one described above.


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