Here's an intriguing piece by some Oxford academics, Julian Savulescu and Anders Sandberg. Although we think trying to use pills to keep couples together would be extremely unwise, we understand that there don't seem to be many options once one really sees the human dilemma clearly...especially if one is convinced that 'sexual satiation equals wellbeing.' We can't help wondering if these authors would trumpet the ethics of changing behavior to increase the chances of remaining in love with as much gusto as they recommend popping theoretical mating pills with risky outcomes.
Abstracts on sex, orgasm, and mating
Could this research suggest why bonding-based lovemaking is protective of health?
Changing Your Lifestyle Can Change Your Genes
New research shows that improved diet, meditation and other non-medical interventions can actually "turn off" the disease-promoting process in men with prostate cancer.
Dean Ornish M.D.
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Updated: 6:32 PM ET Jun 17, 2008
Last year a sexologist did research on women engaging in various kinds of sexual activity for 30 days - and tested them to see how attractive and friendly they found (unknown) men's pictures. He was trying to prove that women engaging in PVI (penile-vaginal intercourse) would find pictures of strange men less attractive than the other women did, because they would be more bonded with their mates.
With evidence this clear that there's something different about intimate relationships, it's only a matter of time before some researcher finally begins to consider the role of our mating neurochemistry in our unions.
If your spouse already bugs you now, the future is bleak. New research suggests couples view one another as even more irritating and demanding the longer they are together.
The same trend was not found for relationships with children or friends.
As we have been pointing out for years, dopamine and prolactin (which we think of as the "gas" and the "brakes") play key roles in sexual behavior. New research confirms prior findings in this regard. Gingko biloba enhances male copulatory behavior. The dopamine (reward) circuitry is affected; prolactin levels drop.
Ginkgo biloba extract enhances male copulatory behavior and reduces serum prolactin levels in rats
Careful observers sometimes note increased mood swings during the two weeks after female orgasm in humans. We wondered if this were due to surges of prolactin, as prolactin can act as a stress hormone, and has been associated with hostility in women in other contexts.
by Mark Griffiths
Case Study - Why Do we Work
Description of the work of Princeton professor, Bartley Hoebel
[Elsewhere Hoebel has said, "Highly palatable foods and highly potent sexual stimuli are the only stimuli capable of activating the dopamine system with anywhere near the potency of addictive drugs."]
Male pheromone–stimulated neurogenesis in the adult female brain: possible role in mating behavior
[This could help explain why women choose "Don Juans" who are otherwise dismal as mates.]
The regulation of female reproductive behaviors may involve memories of male pheromone signatures, formed in part by neural circuitry involving the olfactory bulb and hippocampus.