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Gender differences and olfactory perceptionFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

Who has a better sense of smell, males or females? Though there have been studies attempting to answer this question, findings have not been conclusive. This science fair project involves testing blindfolded participants of both genders for their ability to identify the scents of various food items, rate the intensity of the smell and its favorability.

Objective

The objective of this science project is to ascertain if there are gender differences in the ability to identify food smells, sensitivity to smell, and reaction to smell. You will collect and analyze data for signs of these gender differences.

Scientific Terms

Olfactory perception, olfaction

Background

Though many studies have been conducted on gender differences in olfactory perception, the findings of these studies have been open to question. Females have typically been shown to have a higher sense of olfactory acuity than males, but some critics instead point to the fact that changes in hormonal levels may lead to females being more sensitive to odors, while others believe that males and females are attracted to different smells. In this experiment, besides having participants identify odors, they will be quantifying the intensity of the odors, along with each odour's favorability.
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    Complexity level:
    5
    Project cost ($):
    Time required:
    Additional time may be required to enlist participants and procure food items.
    Material availability:
    Safety concerns:

    None