Platyrrhine monkeys use the pheromone gland, analogous to our axilla, to mark out territory, and size is a measure of male dominance. The human tendency to attack and remove both body hairs and the prepuce as unesthetic may conceivably reflect an unconscious awareness of a biological association which we have missed at the conscious level. No biologist could now rule out, for certain, the possibility that these amputative practices have behavioral effects. At least, the belief that developed organs such as the appendix and tonsil ‘do nothing’ and can be cut off without physiological effect is a naive one belonging to the last century.
It may be in for another shock. The time may be at hand when one can no longer tell an Alitalia plane by the fact that it has hair under its wings, and when deodorants, intimate and otherwise, rate with environmental pollution, as they already do among the sexually experienced pheromones.
The notion of pheromonal inﬂuences on Man has often been mooted. It is still highly speculative, but could be important for medicine and psychiatry. We may live to see ‘odor therapy’ move out of the realm of fringe medicine, into a field with wider implications, some beneﬁcial, some frankly disquieting. The extreme economy of the effect compared with the use of systemic hormones (some pheromones in insects operate at the single-molecule level) makes it well worthy of examination in a culture which urgently needs all the control over its reproductive processes that it can get.
Man has long struggled to control the insects which compete with him for food and ﬁber or endanger his health. Unfortunately, many of the methods used in this struggle have become increasingly uneconomic and ineffective, or have detracted in many ways from the quality of man‘s environment. New concepts, such as the use of pheromones, are now being extensively experimented with in an attempt to bring about better insect population management and to regain this loss of environ- mental quality.
The first section of this book clearly indicated how important pheromones are as part of the language of insects — an essential means for communication. As man understands and begins to interpret this language he can begin to use it to manipulate insect populations in such ways as to direct an insect to a given site where it is trapped and killed; to overload the receptor system of the insect in some way so that it cannot perceive the correct signal; or by continuously monitoring a population using chemical stimuli, man can determine when insect populations are reaching an economic threshold level and apply other control measures. Learn about pheromones at http://spanishinperu.org/human-pheromones-and-insects/
Even before the sex pheromones were chemically identified, ideas had been developed on how insect populations might be affected by these materials. The attractant pheromones as a class of biologically active compounds possess several important characteristics which predispose them to consideration as practically useful compounds. These characteristics are: activity in minute quantities (see Payne ch. 3); relative speciﬁcity; low-toxicity; minimal adverse effects on non-target organisms, such as beneficial insects, since they are naturally occurring biological products; and potential low costs of development. About the time that the first chemical structures were determined, Wright (1964, i965) recognized the need for non-toxic pest control agents and coined the term ‘metarchon’ for any stimulus introduced into the environment that modified the insect’s behavior by inhibiting a correct response or by eliciting an incorrect one. This includes factors such as repellants, attractants, light and sound, which interfere with the insect's pheromones. Check out pheromones at http://thongchaimedical.org/?p=179.