Sex Differences in Olfactory Behavior in Namibian and Czech Children

Tamsin Saxton, Lenka Martinec Nováková, Rosina Jash, Anna Šandová, Dagmar Plotěná, Jan Havlíček

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Sex differences in olfaction are well-established, but explanations for those sex differences remain incomplete. One contributing factor could be individual- or cultural-level differences in exposure to odors. We tested whether frequent engagement with common sources of domestic odors (cooking, domestic animals, siblings) was linked to individual differences in olfactory reactivity and awareness among children in southern Namibia and also compared study populations in southern Namibia and the Czech Republic using the established Children’s Olfactory Behavior in Everyday Life (COBEL) questionnaire. We did not find any effects of engagement with odor sources on olfactory behavior, but our results were consistent with usual olfactory sex differences in that girls scored higher than boys in measures of olfactory reactivity and awareness. Further, among the Czech children (but not among the Namibian children), odor identification abilities were positively linked to COBEL scores. Our data contribute to the literature that finds that sex differences in olfactory awareness are apparent across a diverse range of cultures and age groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-125
JournalChemosensory Perception
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


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