Let’s set this shit straight, shall we?
Oxytocin is a chemical released in the brain that helps with emotional bonding and trust. It’s a hormone that makes people feel all lovey dovey. This hormone is released by males and females when you have an orgasm, touching, giving birth, breastfeeding, and other pleasurable activities (such as petting your dog, cuddling, hugging, masturbating, etc).
Oxytocin doesn’t connect you to someone forever. Hormones are an effect that linger for a little while (anything from a few hours to a few days) and then goes away until the next surge. A woman will not feel forever attached and “mentally messed up” for the rest of her life if she has sex with someone who she later splits with. What a pile of bullshit.
This post reinforces 2 myths:
MYTH: That women must “save” herself for “the one”
REALITY: If a woman wants to have sex with only 1 person in her lifetime, that’s her decision…and anybody who thinks it’s OK to scare her into that decision can seriously go fuck themselves.
MYTH: Men can’t feel emotionally connected to anyone until they have kids.
FACT: Men can connect emotionally just like women can and they experience oxytocin release as well. This myth also implies that if a woman wants to connect to her male partner, they must have kids to do so.
Further, oxytocin is not ”nature’s way” of telling us to only have sex with one person. In our primitive history, humans were rarely monogamous. In recent centuries, society has taken to forcing people (and apparently, scaring them) into only having sex with 1 person, but in reality, this almost never happens. The vast majority of people have sex with more than 1 person in their lifetime.
And guess what? None of us are “mentally messed up” because of it.
Reblogging for the above commentary. Seriously guys, SCIENCE. It is your friend. Don’t forget about it, or you’re doomed to a life of ignorance.
Also, oxytocin is NOT only released when you have sex!!! It’s sometimes called the “cuddle drug”—levels go up when you kiss or touch other people.
And GUESS WHAT: Oxytocin levels are also high when you’re socially isolated or under stress! Yes, that’s right—neurotransmitters and hormones (oxytocin is both) are COMPLICATED. They’re not all-or-nothing drugs. They play different roles at different times, and the amount matters—most drugs work on a bell-curve, where at an optimum level they might have one effect, and at a higher level have the opposite effect.
As a neuroscientist, it just pisses me off when people totally misrepresent what the brain does.
As a woman, it just pisses me off when people misuse science to promote sexist ideals. Guess what? I’ve had sex with people I no longer have feelings for. I’ve had sex with people I did not have feelings for at the time. I’m in a loving, trusting relationship, having great sex, and the fact that Ben and I have both had other sexual partners doesn’t detract from that at all. Make the decisions that are right for you, but don’t completely fabricate scientific facts to support your beliefs. That’s ignorant at best.