Sunday, July 14, 2024

Web Xtra: Boca’s “Love Biologist”

Our conversation with Boca’s “Love Biologist,” Dawn Maslar, extended beyond a discussion of her theory “How Your Brain Falls in Love,” which is covered in our February issue. The romance guru, who will speak at TEDx Feb. 19 at Mizner Park Amphitheater (for tickets and info, visit tedxbocaraton.com), shares extra insights regarding a pair of important studies about human sexual drive.

  • In a landmark 1989 study at Florida State University, [researchers Russell Clark and Elaine Hatfield] sent out people to ask the question, “Would you go out with me tonight?” They tallied the reports. Fifty percent of the women said yes; 50 percent of the men said yes. Next, they asked, “Would you have sex with me tonight?” Now, 100 percent of the women said no, but 75 percent of the men now said yes. More men would have sex with you if given the opportunity than would take you out on a date.
  • Sex is not a big deal for a man. He can have sex and move on, and not think twice about it. The woman takes a bigger risk. There’s a biological imperative that says that the gender that takes the biggest risk will be more selective, and the sex that takes the least amount of risk will chase after or pursue the other sex. In most species, that means that males chase and females choose.
  • There was a study in 2015 that decided to test oxytocin, the neurotransmitter of connection and bonding. They gave it to two sets of women. Both groups were women who had sexual dysfunction—a loss of libido, a loss of interest in their sex life. They’d been in a relationship for a long time, and their sex life was just not going well. So they decided to see if the oxytocin would help them. So they split it down the middle—half got the placebo. They ran the test for 22 weeks. At the end, they tallied what happened. They found that in the first group with the oxytocin, her sexual desire increased about 145 percent, and her lack of sexual desire decreased. In the other group, they saw the same results: The placebo group also had an increase.
  • Part of the study required that the couples got together and talked about her sex life and what she wanted and her desires, and then charted it. It was the connection between the husband and wife that really caused the oxytocin to increase naturally, which helped her sexual dysfunction to decrease. It’s really the connection, the communication. When we get busy in our own lives with work and children and household chores, sometimes we lose that connection, and we don’t take that special time together, that date night, and doing activities together. When you lose that connection, that’s when you’re going to lose the libido and the desire to be with the other person.

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