Sex drive, for instance, is associated with the hormone testosterone in both men and women

Sex drive, for instance, is associated with the hormone testosterone in both men and women

So I tell my students, ‘Don’t have sex if you don’t want to fall in love

It’s a constellation of factors, Fisher told me. Romantic love is associated with elevated activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine and probably also another one, norepinepherine. And attachment is associated with the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin. “It turns out,” she said, “that seminal fluid has all of these chemicals in it. ‘ ”

“If you ask someone to go to bed with you, and they reject you,” she says, “you don’t kill yourself. But if you’re rejected in love, you might kill yourself.”

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For Chemistry’s matching system, Fisher translated her work with neurotransmitters and hormones into discrete personality types. “I’ve always been extremely impressed with Myers-Briggs,” she said, referring to the personality assessment tool that classifies people according to four pairs of traits: Introversion versus Extroversion, Sensing versus Intuition, Thinking versus Feeling, and Judging versus Perceiving. “They had me pinned to the wall when I took the test, and my sister, too. So when Chemistry approached me, I said to myself, ‘I’m an anthropologist who studies brain chemistry, what do I know about personality?’ ”

Turns out she knew quite a bit: Genes for the activity of dopamine are associated with motivation, curiosity, anxiety, and optimism. Genes for the metabolism of serotonin, another neurotransmitter, tend to modulate one’s degree of calm, stability, popularity, and religiosity. Continue reading “Sex drive, for instance, is associated with the hormone testosterone in both men and women”