The word "pheromones" seems to have several meanings or implied meanings:
In a most general sense, "pheromones" refers to chemo-signal molecules of
an inter-creature sort and may even inform the emitting organism about
itself. However, literature about pheromones and odors seems to confine
concern to (i) vomeronasal receptors and related neural tracts and (ii)
olfactory receptors and related neural tracts.
In contrast, third, fourth, and fifth physiological domains are present in
humans and other mammals, (iii) epidermis, (iv) respiratory epithelium,
and (v) lymphoid tissues (epidermal and nasal).
A sweeping and nearly entirely true generalization is that domains iii,
iv, and v are omitted from consideration as transduction domains for
My immunological hypothesis regarding sexual and gender orientations
proposes that these orientations may be manifested primarily within
domains iii, iv, and v. Furthermore, variations in sexual and/or gender
orientation may be manifestations of autoimmune process affecting
specific molecules within domains iii, and/or iv, and or v.
My intent with this post is twofold: (i) to clarify the domains wherein
my hypothesis asserts sexual and gender orientations and variations
thereof to be encoded, and (ii) to make clear that to refer to all sexually
significant chemo-signal molecules as "pheromones" is quite OK so long
as we understand the most general sense and actual definition of the
word and are careful not to fall prey to arbitrarily, presumptively
focusing only upon olfactory and vomeronasal components, which circa
1996 remain the traditional contexts wherein the word "pheromones" is used.
Teresa Binstock at uchsc.edu
Researcher in Developmental & Behavioral Neuroanatomy
Collected writings of Teresa C. Binstock
Permission hereby granted
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