February 2007


A thought struck me the other day. There are certain scents we associate with femininity, and we call them perfumes. Men like the smell of these scents. They are pleasing to the nose. Some can even arouse a male’s sexual desires. As much as men like the smell of these scents they would never think of wearing them themselves. They are “only for women.”


 

There are other scents we associate with masculinity, and we call them colognes. Females like the smell of these scents. They are pleasing to the nose. Some can even arouse a female’s sexual desires. As much as women like the smell of these scents they would never think of wearing them themselves. They are “only for men.” While there are some scents that are uni-sex (meaning they appeal to members of both sexes), most fall into one of the categories described above.


 

My question is whether the association of certain smells with certain genders is culturally learned or innate. Do other cultures associate the same smells with the same gender? Is it universal, or local? Could men wear Channel in Africa and feel manly? Would women be attracted by the scent? Do certain scents tend to attract men everywhere, and certain scents tend to attract women everywhere, or do certain scents attract different sexes in different cultures? Is our gender-smell association learned or built into us?

Daniel Wallace ended his series on the history of the English Bible in the following manner:

Even with the proliferation of Bibles today, Christians are reading their Bibles less and less. I believe the evangelical church has only 50 years of life leftbecause of marginalization of the Word of God. We need another Reformation! The enemy of the gospel now is not religious hierarchy but moral anarchy, not tradition but entertainment. The enemy of the gospel is Protestantism run amock; it is an anti-intellectual, anti-knowledge, feel-good faith that has no content and no convictions. Part of the communal repentance that is needed is a repentance about the text. And even more importantly, there must be a repentance with regard to Christ our Lord. Just as the Bible has been marginalized, Jesus Christ has been ‘buddy-ized.’ His transcendence and majesty are only winked at, as we turn him into the genie in the bottle, beseeching God for more conveniences, more luxury, less hassle, and a life without worries or lack of comfort. He no longer wears the face that the apostles recognized. The God we worship today no longer resembles the God of the Bible. Unless we return to him through a reading and digesting of the scriptures—through a commitment to the text, the evangelical church will become irrelevant, useless, dead.

I wholeheartedly concur.


I would also suggest you read his presentation (beginning here). It is an extremely informative history that I found fascinating. Few are better equipped to deal with this issue like Wallace.

 

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