Hello all; it's a privilege to join you. As my first blog, with the overarching title of OF HUMAN BONDING, I would like to set my foundation with something I have been saying for some time. I believe that humanity has evolved three distinct yet inter-related brain systems for mating and reproduction: the sex drive; romantic love; and deep feelings of attachment for a long term partner.

The sex drive (associated primarily with the testosterone system in both men and women) developed foremost to motivate us to seek sex with a range of partners. Romantic love (associated primarily with the dopamine system) evolved to enable us to focus our time and metabolic energy on just one individual at a time. And the attachment system (primarily associated with the oxytocin and vasopressin systems) emerged to motivate us to sustain a pair-bond long enough to rear at least one child through infancy as a team.

These three brain systems have many complex interactions. Among them, sexual stimulation of the genitals triggers dopamine release and can push one over the threshold toward falling in love; and with orgasm the release of oxytocin and vasopressin can stimulate feelings of attachment (which is why casual sex is rarely casual; it either turns you on or off.)

Nevertheless these brain systems are not always well connected; indeed, they can operate independently. Hence you can feel deep attachment to one partner, while you feel intense romantic love for someone else, while you feel lust for a host of others. This brain circuitry spells both opportunity and trouble. And although we have evolved a huge cerebral cortex with which we often make decisions about our mating and reproductive lives, many other forces contribute to how we express these basic mating drives. In this blog, I hope to talk about all the myriad ways that cultures and individuals-both in the past and present- express these neural systems to produce our myriad patterns of human bonding.


Recent Posts in Of Human Bonding

Saudi Arabia's Untapped Resource: Women

Women are the last great resource of Saudi Arabia.

Can Tiger Woods Blame His DNA For Cheating?

Is Tiger Woods a victim of his DNA?

Is Privacy Natural?

Too much information.

Why Do Celebrities Fascinate?

Why do celebrities fascinate?

Love and Madness in Las Vegas

Has romantic love provided the brain circuitry for all addictions?

"Plant-eating Boys" and "Daddy Days"

"Plant-eating boys" and "daddy days."