In this article, I discuss whether Athena Institute pheromones work. If you’ve heard of pheromones you may have seen the report done on ABC’s 20/20 news program regarding the Athena Institute. By definition, pheromones are chemical substances released by animals to influence behavior. Pheromones are one of the best-kept secrets to increasing sexual attraction and seduction.
- 1 About Dr. Winnifred Cutler
- 2 Dr. Cutler’s Findings on Human Pheromones
- 3 McClintock Pheromone Study
- 4 Athena Institute Formula
- 5 DHEA is a precursor to your sex hormones
- 6 Featured on ABC News 20/20
- 7 Are Athena Pheromones a Scam?
- 8 Do Her Pheromone Claims Go Too Far?
- 9 Do Athena Pheromones Work?
- 10 Conclusion
About Dr. Winnifred Cutler
One scientist with a fascination for the human armpit is Dr. Winnifred Cutler. Cutler earned her doctorate in biology from the University of Pennsylvania where she studied endocrinology. She also founded and operates the Athena Institute for Women’s Wellness, Inc., in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.
Cutler believed that frequent sexual contact with men promoted fertile-type reproductive cycles in women. It took some time for Cutler to determine how this might be possible. Eventually, she arrived at a theory: male pheromones. The armpits play a key role in sex, love, and lust. The link between human pheromone communication and human sexuality caught the attention of scientists. They were investigating how pheromones might be able to affect our physiological processes.
Dr. Cutler’s Findings on Human Pheromones
Dr. Winnifred Cutler, a reproductive biologist and founder of Athena Institute, conducted a scientific experiment into the existence of human pheromones. This was the first of its kind among colleagues, in 1986.
Her findings show that chemicals in male sweat have a regulating effect on menstrual cycles. They suspected it was androstenone, a chemical that happens to be a sex pheromone in pigs.
In male boars, androstenone gets the female boar “in the mood”. Cutler’s idea that male pheromones might affect the menstrual cycle was already known to occur in animals.
McClintock Pheromone Study
In a study conducted by Dr. Martha McClintock, it was shown that the pheromones of male rats could enhance the fertility of female rats in the vicinity. Cutler also researched whether so-called male “essences” would have an effect on female reproductive cycles.
Over the years, there have been numerous tests on the effects of androstenone as a pheromone for humans. In one famous study, androstenone was applied on the door of a bathroom stall. This caused men to avoid the stall. And the result suggested that pheromones might function as a territory marker.
At Stanford University, an experiment was conducted to find out if women, who were exposed regularly to the male pheromone, could regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle. And if the pheromone could cause a woman to menstruate at the same time after sensing the male pheromones. By 1993, Dr. Cutler discovered and created chemical copies of the pheromones in fertile young women.
Athena Institute Formula
The Athena Institute offers two products:
Athena Pheromone 10X – An unscented aftershave for men designed to increase romantic attraction from women. Mix one vial of 10X with 2-3 ounces of your favorite alcohol-based aftershave and wear at least every other day. 10X must be stored in a ‘splash-on’ bottle with a screw-top that can be tightly closed.
Athena Pheromone 10:13 – A cosmetic fragrance additive for women to promote her sexual attractiveness. Simply empty the entire contents using the provided funnel into a 2-4 ounce bottle. This can be an alcohol-based perfume, cologne, or eau de toilette. Then dab the mixture above the upper lip, behind ears, and elsewhere at least every other day.
According to their website, the pheromone formula is a trade secret. Therefore, I can only speculate on the pheromone formula. The formula for Athena pheromones is unknown because they do not list the ingredients. Her early formulations of Athena 10x pheromones, and Athena 10:13 were simply DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) and androstenol formulations.
DHEA is a precursor to your sex hormones
The body’s natural production of DHEA diminishes linearly as we age. It’s so predictable that one’s age can be known by someone who knows nothing more about you. All’s they need is your DHEA level by simply reading a chart and looking up the number. All of the adrenal hormone levels are dependent on one’s DHEA level. Therefore, supplementing one’s DHEA has the effect of restoring more youthful levels of almost everything.
Dr. William Regelso claims memory improves, the immune system goes up and physical energy levels rise. As body fat ratios improve, libido goes up if one’s DHEA levels return to youthful levels. His claims may be a bit optimistic. So far, the research shows some promise but not much solid proof of much.
One study, for example, found it has modest effects in treating ED in men getting on in age. But, it had no real effect in younger men. At least 10 studies show that DHEA supplementation does not improve mood, mental function, or general well-being in older people. According to that same source, the evidence is inconclusive. There is uncertainty as to whether it improves sexual health and responses in older women. The studies show no improvement in younger women. Those positive results were noted most strongly in women over seventy. I guess at that age, even placebos might be a huge improvement.
So the results, really don’t live up to the hype.
Featured on ABC News 20/20
As reported on ABC News 20/20, two ladies in their 40s took the Athena Pheromones for one month. The two ladies were then given dates to go on, with a man. Dr. Winnifred Cutler explained that women in their 40s do not have the same pheromone levels as when they were younger. Adding Athena Pheromone to a women’s system should help increase attraction.
ABC News 20/20 also conducted an experiment with two sets of identical twins in a speed-dating test, using the same Athena Pheromones. This time, one of the female twins and one of the male twins were using the pheromone, while the other twin was not. Each of them went on 10 different dates, each lasting five minutes, for the experiment.
After the dates, one female twin using the Athena pheromones discovered that 9 out of 10 men wanted to see her again and 10 out of 10 women wanted to see the male twin using the pheromone, for another date.
They each scored more dates than their other twin without the pheromone. So, to answer the original question, it appears Athena Institute pheromones work as shown by the results. However, in recent years more pheromone products have the hit market with increasing concentrations of pheromones and various scents.
Are Athena Pheromones a Scam?
Are the claims of Dr. Winnifred Cutler’s product true? For instance, she claims to have discovered human pheromones. “The discovery of human sex pheromones appeared in front-page stories internationally when my colleagues and I succeeded in peer-reviewed acceptance for publication in scientific journals in 1986.
We provided the proof that women and men emitted pheromones into the atmosphere and we showed that extracted pheromones could be collected, frozen for over a year, thawed and then applied topically above the upper lip of recipients to mimic some of the pheromonal effects found in nature.”
It’s difficult to determine who really discovered human pheromones because research dates back to as early as the 1900s. There was already human pheromone research that dates back to the 1950s from scientist Alex Comfort. Alex Comfort the gerontologist, whose sex manual was among the first to openly focus on oral sex, also pioneered in calling our attention to pheromonal inﬂuences in human behavior.
Do Her Pheromone Claims Go Too Far?
According to laboratory scientist JV Kohl, she did. For over twenty-five years, James Vaughn Kohl has been researching the relationship between smell and sexual preferences.
Over at the pherotalk forums, he made this post:
“Winnifred Cutler, Ph.D., markets Athena 10:13 and 10X. While she can take credit for some early work on human chemical communication, she goes too far by saying “she discovered human pheromones,” just as Dr. Teresa Crenshaw goes too far when she claims to have predicted the discovery of human pheromones.
Lately, Cutler’s been claiming that her patent application prevents her from disclosing what’s in her products. However, last time I looked, the only patent app. she filed was many years ago–long past the time it would typically take to acquire a patent if her app. had merit.
Besides, her focus was on dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a very unlikely candidate to be a human pheromone since it is an adrenal androgen. Why would an adrenal androgen be attractive to men? Yet, Cutler claims that DHEA is the active ingredient in Athena 10:13 on a national TV talk show.
Then, she clammed up and said she couldn’t divulge info. But not before she told the TV audience that a similar product for men could not be effective–because, in nature, it’s the male who pursues the female, not the female who pursues the male. Yeah, right! Then, a year later, she came out with her 10X product for men. Cutler spouted more garbage about the concept of human pheromones than I’ve heard from anyone before or since.
I’m not sure about the reason why Bruce doesn’t make 10X available from this site, but so far as I’m concerned he has shown remarkably good taste in not marketing such a worthless, albeit very expensive, product.”
Do Athena Pheromones Work?
The studies above support the conclusion that pheromones work in humans. However, there is lingering controversy as to whether Athena products have real pheromones. Many feel she is taking too much credit for the discovery of human pheromones. It was not long after their coverage on ABC news that the pheromone market began to heat up.
So what makes some pheromone some brands better than others? And can you use that to your advantage? It comes down to potency.
The stronger the pheromone concentration, the more you can expect women to notice you. According to Dr. Vimal Murphy of The University of Washington School of Medicine, “Just because the cologne or perfume has pheromones doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be effective.”
If you’re looking for results it’s important to find a product with the highest concentration. Synthetic human pheromones are extremely expensive to manufacture. So, if the product is cheap you can normally assume that it may not necessarily be effective.