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As Valentine's Day approaches, professor of psychology at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, Wendy Hill, has decided to shed light on that most basic of all human expressions of love - the kiss.

In her study, she showed that a series of chemical changes occur during a passionate kiss that makes people euphoric, happy or relaxed. It is additionally being speculated that this hormone release may be triggered directly by an exchange of sexually stimulating pheromones in the saliva.

You would have never thought that while you are kissing and feeling great, a lot of other things, chemical things were happening.

To find the answer on what was really happening, the research team looked at the impact of kissing on levels of two hormones, oxytocin and cortisol, in 15 male-female couples before and after holding hands and before and after kissing.

Oxytocin is known to be involved in social bonding so the researchers predicted that its levels would rise, while cortisol, a stress hormone, would fall. The results showed cortisol levels fell in both sexes, although oxytocin levels rose in men but fell in women, which is strange as it has been previously thought that oxytocin levels get much higher in women than in men.


I am not aware that there are pheromones in the human saliva. Are you saying that the hormones oxytocin and cortisol are actually pheromones? If not, would you please name the different pheromones that had been identified in the saliva?