Star Trek: The Motion Picture

Question: When it is mentioned that Ilia is Deltan, a couple of the male Enterprise crew members (Sulu in particular) look very interested when they hear that. Why? Also, why was it necessary for her to say that she has taken an oath of celibacy?

Chosen answer: Deltans exude an intensely potent and effective chemical substance known as pheromones, which act as signals arousing an intense sexual reaction in other species (in other ST material it's inferred that its potency is so extreme that a non-Deltan risks insanity in a sexual encounter with a Deltan). Upon entering Starfleet, Deltans must swear "an oath of celibacy" so as not to influence or take advantage of crewmembers. That is why Lt. Ilia stated that her "oath of celibacy" was on record.

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