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Name: Diana H.
Status: student
Age: 19
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2001

Where can I find good reliable information about the human sense of smell and whether it is stronger in men or women?

A good starting point for general info on the human sense of smell is the National Geographic Survey of Smell, carried out in 1989. In a PubMed search for 'human sense of smell' I found a follow up on this study from Sweden, where the subjects were twins (to discriminate nature from nurture), see J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2001 Jul;56(4):P226-P233 (freely available on the web at

The abstract of a publication by Bengtsson et al(Brain activation during odor perception in males and females. Neuroreport 2001 Jul 3;12(9):2027-2033) starts with the sentence: 'Several studies indicate that women outperform men in olfactory identification tasks.' If you can lay your hands on a copy of this paper you'd find all the data you need.

Dr. Trudy Wassenaar

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