People want to connect romantically. For many of us, that means using a dating app or website to help find potential hookups and long-term partners. But, as technological matchmakers have grown in popularity, the need to perfect the system by which we pair off becomes more focused. In some cases, that means narrowing the pool to Trump supporters, farmers, Jews, or shared pet peeves. In others, it means innovation on the part of the app creator.
Houston-based Pheramor is doing the latter. Named for both pheromones (the small molecules our bodies release and other people pick up on) and amour (French for love), Pheramor claims to match people based on compatible genetic markers and social media alignment.
The app’s designers assert that the science is based on 40 years of research confirming there are 11 genetic markers that are proven to play a role in attraction. But, there remains a healthy amount of skepticism about whether or not these markers, of MCH type, truly dictate who you wanna bone.
Pheramor’s website does point to a specific study called “The Sweaty T-shirt Experiment” done in the 1990s. Men wore shirts for three consecutive days and women were asked to rate the scent. The findings indicated women were more attracted to men whose genetics were more diverse than their own. The problem with the study is that it was never replicated successfully.
The difficulty producing solid science to back the app’s premise certainly fuels critic’s arguments against it. This may be why the app also takes social media activity into account. Users are given the option of connecting all of their social media to Pheramor. This is processed using a proprietary algorithm, which aids in the matchmaking.
Also of interest: Matches show up with blurred photos to discourage endless swiping based solely on physical appearance. Instead, users should be focusing on their compatibility scores.
Pheramor is trying to use the data they gather to save lives as well. The 11 markers they chart are also used to fight blood cancers, so the app partnered with a national cancer registry called Gift of Life, and customers can opt to be added. Potentially, they could be matched with people who need their help fighting lymphoma, leukemia, and other blood disorders.
That bit, at the very least, is pretty awesome. Tinder ain’t saving no lives.
People looking for a DNA compatible partner are looking at a $19.99 test and a $10-a-month service fee to use the app. If you are just looking to hookup, that might feel steep, so stick to working the room at last call. But, if you’re looking for a long-term love match maybe this is a risk worth trying. Perhaps your one true love (or a few of your many true loves!) will have done the same.