Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Casual Sex, Premarital Sex Damages the Brain - New Research

Guest Column by April Lorier

You've heard it said that the brain is the most important sex organ. Drs. Freda Bush and Joe McIlhaney, authors of Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children explain how science bears that out. They tell how the powerful chemicals dopamine and oxytocin are released during intimacy, causing men to want to repeat the action and women to desire bonding with her partner. They warn that when you attach and unattach with multiple partners, you weaken your brain's ability to stay attached.

Research using brain scans now shows powerful chemicals are released during sex that should create a powerful, everlasting bond.

"When women are skin-to-skin with a man, their brain secretes oxytocin that causes them to bond emotionally to that man. Men secrete a hormone called vasopressin when they're having that kind of intimate behavior. And that hormone has even been called 'monogamy hormone' for men. And it bonds them to the woman," McIlhaney explained.

This oxytocin is so overwhelming in a woman's brain that just a 20-second hug can cause a female to become bonded to a male.

Both sexes get addictive doses of the pleasure-chemical dopamine as well during intimate behavior. That works out well for couples out to create lifelong marriages and stable families.

"They're addicted to sex, and babies result from that. They're bonded to each other," McIlhaney said.

Sleeping Around Weakens Bond
But that bonding, which acts like adhesive tape or Velcro, is weakened when people tear away at its power by breaking off with a sexual partner and moving on from one to another to another. So when it does finally come time to bond permanently with a spouse, the ability to bond is damaged.

So those of us who teach abstinence before marriage might not be as ridiculous as some would have you believe. Surely you want your own children's brains to be able to accept that deep emotional level that's vital to a successful marriage?

These are excerpts from the original article, “Research Shows Premarital Sex Damaging To The Brain” at April Lorier’s Perspective. See more of Lorier here at 20-20 Faith Sight’s Authors Corner, too.

The research in Bush and McIlhaney’s “Hooked” also relates to or confirms information in previous posts here at 20-20 FaithSight: Boys and Sex and Teen Trends: Hugging, Sexting and Hooking Up.

Photo: U.S. National Institutes of Health, public domain.


Gina Burgess March 17, 2010 at 11:04 AM  

I have never heard of these chemicals, but I believe they were created when God gave Adam and Eve the curse...
Gen 3:16 He said to the woman, I will greatly increase your sorrow and your conception; you shall bear sons in sorrow, and your desire shall be toward your husband; and he shall rule over you.

I knew something like this occurs, but had no idea there is actually scientific proof of it! What will science discover next?

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