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Neuroscience of Homewrecking®

…will be a book. And it will be about how you trick yourself in and out of relationships. So an LA Times article talks about a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, about a new property in the love hormone, oxytocin, and how it “may help protect monogamous relationships”. Miracle juice! Such a terrible, terrible headline, right? …perking every Cosmo reader and former CIA director’s wife’s ear. If you think a hormone nasal spray will stop your man from cheating or leaving you, sweetie, you may need more than a nasal spray. Ok, backing up…the gist of the experiment is that men in relationships given a little toot of oxytocin spray, distanced themselves from an attractive woman they’d just met. 

This finding is very interesting since it’s a little counterintuitive to what we think oxytocin does.  Instead of just bringing the two together, this love hormone played a role in keeping the relationship man apart from the new pretty lady. Get back you succubus! We know oxytocin plays a role in trust and pair bonding, as it is “released in response to orgasm, early romance, breast-feeding and childbirth" but, it does more than than this - it enhances empathy, making people "more attuned to social cues, and more inclined to adjust their behavior accordingly"… which is a good reason why it’s currently used trials for patients with autism or schizophrenia.

The larger idea here is that:

…if your relationship status affects how oxytocin affects the brain, this provides some evidence that our brains evolved to form long-term romantic relationships.

Nothing is natural and your brain cells are tricking you again. Jolene, you can have him. 

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  13. belkeris said: Ugh…”long term romantic relationships” has nothing to do with physical fidelity/monogamy though… Classic sloppy thinking.
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