Oxytocin and Love

Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;

Here’s something I don’t understand and I’m hoping you can help- why do women seem to become emotionally attached more easily than men? It seems that as soon as I become intimate with a guy, something happens to me- I begin thinking ahead to a deeper involvement, planning our possible wedding and future children…and the guy just wants to get out of bed and run the moment it’s over!

This is so common with the women I know that I have to wonder if it’s not just an emotional thing. Love makes us feel so wonderful, then the next minute, we are crashing into disappointment because the guy has left the page. Can you give me a clue?

Abban Donment

 

Dear Abby;

Chemicals influence the feeling of love and attraction in both women and men. When a woman is fertile she has a stronger sex drive and is more susceptible to falling in love. Men are drawn to fertile women because of pheromones but once fertility passes that chemical no longer holds a man’s interest in the same way.

Something as simple as catching and holding eye contact can set in motion a series of events that leads to baby making. Soulful staring, hugs, and orgasm release, to varying degrees, an attachment inducing hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin helps your brain imprint someone as friend or foe.

Herbal companies have already marketed oxytocin type sprays, but before you get any ideas- oxytocin can’t be used as a date enhancing drug. Sometimes oxytocin locks people into your social circle and you feel warm and fuzzy around them, but other times it locks people out and you feel aggressive toward them. Another hormone, serotonin, can make people love everyone indiscriminately. So an effective formula might come from adding serotonin to oxytocin then spraying it in your arm pits. You would then need your date to lick your armpit to get the full effect.

 

Woman may be more susceptible than men to the effects of oxytocin because of estrogen, a hormone made in the ovaries and fat tissue which moderates all the other hormones. If you lose too much fat you can become infertile. Estrogen might be a factor in why women gravitate to love rather than lust.

Oxytocin also moderates a hormone in the brain called dopamine, which regulates our sense of well being, our memory, learning ability and creativity. All street drugs target dopamine either directly or indirectly. So, when you gaze into a man’s eyes, especially while having an orgasm, the idea of detached friends with benefits is out the window. He is now imprinted into your brain as a love object. Whether you like it or not there will be all sorts of emotions invested in him now and you will suffer a withdrawal similar to that of heroin if he doesn’t call you or if he breaks up with you.

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

 

Granny says: you may be interested to know that not all women are created equal when it comes to that “instant bonding” effect; and the reason might surprise you.

A recent study at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm showed that brain development tends to differ according to sexual preference: gay men develop brains that resembled those of straight women- the right and left sides are about the same size. Gay women’s brains are more apt to belike those of straight men- the right side tends to be slightly larger than the left. In the matter of emotions, gay men and heterosexual women are more alike…and gay women and heterosexual men are similar. Because of this, gays and heterosexuals also react differently to pheromones.

But let’s be real- there are far more factors that figure into human attraction and emotional focus than the size ratio of our brain hemispheres and our sexual preferences. Personal history, family role models, and basic self esteem are going to play into the equation as well.

There is another far more basic and primitive factor which seems to over ride much of the rest of this research data- women give birth to children, not men, and women have a realistic need for protection and commitment in raising those kids. Hence, their primary concern is in finding a permanent mate. Lust, and one-night stands, don’t count for much when ya gotta pay bills and take the kids to their soccer matches.

Unfortunately, as far as I can see, men still have a peculiar need to at least imagine they could impregnate multiple women and thus increase the likelihood that their genetic material is carried on. It’s a fact- unless they were artificially inseminated while under the influence of roofies, women always know, without a doubt, that the child coming out of their vagina is their own. For men, it is never a certainty. This might explain a lot.

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About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at dr.brilliantcliche@yahoo.com and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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