There used to be a time when a weekend hookup with a lady at the county fair might have life-changing consequences, e.g., her daddy showing up at your doorstep with a shotgun, a preacher and some Gone With the Wind commemorative wedding china. Those days are thankfully long gone, at least until the fathers of loose women and cheated-on wives get ahold of a hormone that forces loved ones to be faithful.
Scientists know that the hormone called vasopressin is integral to the formation of social bonds. In the male brain, vasopressin is released during sexual activity and encourages a guy to form an emotional attachment to his partner. But in a survey of 1,000 heterosexual couples, men who had a certain type of vasopressin receptor gene weretwice as likely to report dissatisfaction with their marriages.
Imagine a future where being vasopressin negative was something you flaunted on your Match.com page. If you were a women, why wouldn’t you want to know about a potential mate’s “aptitude for monogomy,” as the scientists put it. Hell, if there was a scientific test that could tell you whether the guy who just proposed to you is a ticking cheat bomb, you’d be stupid not to make him take it. Of course, the vasopressin receptor gene might not be terminal for its owner’s sex lives. After all, if we can increase the number of vasopressin receptors, we might be able to cure cheating altogether.
In an experiment conducted on prairie voles, males were injected with an artificial gene that boosted the number of vasopressin receptors in their brains. Then each male was paired with one female. Several hours later, a second female was thrown into the mix, because voles likes to party.
The males who received the vasopressin boost spent twice as much time with the original female they’d been paired with, while the males who did not receive the receptor boost spent equal amounts of time with both, presumably while attempting to proposition them for some hot three-way prairie vole action.
First of all, I think cheating is cowardly and selfish. I loose a lot of respect for people that cheat on their partners. Unfortunately, in 60% of relationships there is one instance of cheating. However, if this was actually happening…I would find this unethical. And I find it interesting that it was focused on men only.
“There is an inner beauty about a woman who believes in herself, who knows she is capable of anything that she puts her mind to. There is a beauty in the strength & determination of a woman who follows her own path, who is not thrown off by obstacles along the way. There is a beauty about a woman whose confidence comes from experiences; who knows she can fall, pick herself up, and move on.”—
I have really just been off…a really bad case of raging girl hormones. I mean, I should be happy, in heaven really: I just got back from seeing the love of my life for a week, I just got a job that I wanted, my academic career is sky-rocketing…life is amazing.
And yet, today, everything and (especially) everyone annoyed the hell out of me. So I walked in to my room at the end of a long day and right before an even longer day tomorrow and crashed on my bed. And then the little fur ball that I call Leila crawled on my tummy purring. And then I remembered this is exactly why I adopted her in the first place, exactly for days like this. There is nothing better in the world than a purr and headbutt from a cat (or a lick of a dog) after a really long day. A simple act of love.