Hormones R’ Us. Impact of the Pill. It is almost impossible to overestimate
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It is almost impossible to overestimate
the impact of the contraceptive pill on human arrangements. (35)… The pill has had a remarkable, defining, and underestimated impact on the communities in which it was introduced in the 1960s. It was not just another drug to correct a temporary physical illness;
instead it was a powerful
preparation given to healthy people on a daily basis. It did not repair a disability but promoted robust social life. It has affected sex between men and women, the core relationship that has guided human evolution and continues to preoccupy people more than half their lives. (37)
I explore…how a new kinship system called bureaugamy has been emerging, featuring a mother, a baby, and a government official; and how and why the human species may be returning to the basic mammalian system revolving around mothers and children, with ever more peripheral confused males puzzled about their loneliness. (27)
Helen Fisher, a researcher at Rutgers University, … suggests [love] comes in three flavours: lust, romantic love and long-term attachment. There is some overlap but, in essence, these are separate phenomena, with their own emotional and motivational systems, and accompanying chemicals. These systems have evolved to enable, respectively, mating, pair-bonding and parenting.
Lust, of course, involves a craving for sex. Jim Pfaus, a psychologist at Concordia University, in Montreal, says the aftermath of lustful sex is similar to the state induced by taking opiates. A heady mix of chemical changes occurs, including increases in the levels of serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin and endogenous opioids (the body's natural equivalent of heroin). “This may serve many functions, to relax the body, induce pleasure and satiety, and perhaps induce bonding to the very features that one has just experienced all this with”, says Dr Pfaus.
[Romantic love] is a refinement of mere lust that allows people to home in on a particular mate. This state is characterised by feelings of exhilaration, and intrusive, obsessive thoughts about the object of one's affection. Some researchers suggest this mental state might share neurochemical characteristics with the manic phase of manic depression. Dr Fisher's work, however, suggests that the actual behavioural patterns of those in love—such as attempting to evoke reciprocal responses in one's loved one—resemble obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Wonderful though it is, romantic love is unstable—not a good basis for child-rearing. But the final stage of love, long-term attachment, allows parents to co-operate in raising children. This state, says Dr Fisher, is characterised by feelings of calm, security, social comfort and emotional union.
MEN are from Mars and women from Venus - except when they are in love.During this intense period, men and women become more like each other than at any other time The first finding was that both men and women in love have considerably higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, indicating that courtship can be somewhat stressful. "But the most intriguing finding is related to testosterone," says Marazziti.
Men who were in love had lower levels of the male sex hormone testosterone - linked to aggression and sex drive - than the other men. Love-struck women, in contrast, had higher levels of testosterone than their counterparts…
They say female chemical messengers known as pheromones may help dupe men into thinking plain women are more attractive and beautiful women are less attractive than they actually are.
Pheromones - the colourless, odourless chemical signals given off by the body - are thought to affect behaviour in both animals and humans at a sub-conscious level.
Our results indicate that the perceived attractiveness of womens’ faces varies across the menstrual cycle and is higher in the periovulatory than in the luteal phase.
Men have long held up women such as Jayne Mansfield as icons of female attractiveness.
But researchers now say this isn't just a superficial judgement - women with hourglass figures are more likely to become pregnant.
Writing in a Royal Society journal, they say this is because women with large breasts and narrow waists have higher hormone levels.
A third of male fish in British rivers are in the process of changing sex due to pollution in human sewage, research by the Environment Agency suggests.
A survey of 1,500 fish at 50 river sites found more than a third of males displayed female characteristics.
Hormones in the sewage, including those produced by the female contraceptive pill, are thought to be the main cause.
The agency says the problem could damage fish populations by reducing their ability to reproduce.
03 July 2002"Gender benders" cause sperm burn out
Researchers told the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Vienna that chemicals that mimic the effects of the female sex hormone oestrogen can prime sperm into becoming prematurely active, burning out before they have a chance to meet an egg.
"It's certainly very exciting work," says Chris Barratt at the University of Birmingham. "Sperm and the fertilisation process may be much more sensitive to artificial oestrogens than we thought."
Oestrogen-like chemicals commonly found in oral contraceptives and plastic packaging could deform the prostate gland of human embryos, suggests a new study in mice. Deformities to the prostate gland have been linked to prostate cancer and bladder disease in later life.
The finding is significant because up to 3% of women taking oral contraceptive drugs become pregnant without their knowledge, and continue exposing the fetus to the contraceptive drug many months into pregnancy.
In May 2004, a new study coming out of Berlin had some disturbing conclusions. A German research facility revealed that most condoms contain a potent carcinogen, N-Nitrosamine. After testing 32 types of condoms, they found that 29 contained the cancer causing chemical at very highly elevated levels. This finding shows this elevated level is up to three times compared with what could be found in food.
BROWSE the Internet for information about anabolic steroids, and you will discover a story of turbocharged manhood: huge muscles, adoring women, powerful erections and youthful energy. Some of that story is true. But for men also hoping to father children, there may be some vital information missing. Using testosterone supplements can most likely cause a man's sperm count to plummet, often to zero. Getting it back can be costly and take years.
Among heavy steroid users, it may never return.
Women are attracted to more masculine-looking men at the most fertile time of their menstrual cycle, psychologists have shown.
During the less fertile times, they choose men with more feminine-looking faces. These are seen as kinder and more co-operative, but less strong and healthy genetically.
Professor Grammer… said the oral contraceptive pill could stop a woman producing pheromones and undermine her ability to pick up the right chemical signals from men.
Scientists believe pheromones may help people choose biologically compatible mates.
Professor Grammer said the pheromone confusion caused by the pill could cause a woman to choose a mate with whom she could not produce a child.
"She picks out the genetically wrong mates. It's highly possible that she will not be able to produce offspring with her mate," he said.
FOR YEARS, PROZAC AND THE PILL HAVE GIVEN WOMEN EMOTIONAL STABILITY AND SEXUAL FREEDOM. BUT NEW RESEARCH SUGGESTS THESE DRUGS CAN NEGATIVELY AFFECT EVERYTHING FROM OUR SEX DRIVE TO OUR CHOICE OF A MATE. RACHAEL COMBE INVESTIGATES
IN THIS COMMITMENT-PHOBIC AGE, MORE AND MORE WOMEN ARE GETTING PREGNANT TO GET THEIR BOYFRIENDS TO THE ALTAR. ZOEY NELSON WONDERS WHETHER A LOVE CHILD COULD REALLY MAKE HER AND THE BABY'S FATHER FALL IN LOVE
Oral Contraceptives and Cancer Risk
IARC MONOGRAPHS PROGRAMME FINDSCOMBINED ESTROGEN-PROGESTOGEN CONTRACEPTIVES ANDMENOPAUSAL THERAPY ARE CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS
17 women between the ages of 17 and 30 have died since release of the "sexy" patch in 2002. These documents also revealed that 21 additional life threatening conditions have been found including: heart attacks, blood clots and strokes.
The basic unit of society is the family and the cornerstone of the family is marriage, the union of one man and one woman. Deeply rooted in all societies, marriage is a fundamental social institution that has been tested and reaffirmed over thousands of years. The family yields significant “social capital” and other benefits to society, and children in an intact home have the most promising life prospects. And parents have the right and responsibility to oversee the education and upbringing of their child.
by race/ethnicity and age at the beginning of marriage, US 1995
1993 Average Annual Income
Source: Corcoran and Chaudray, Unpublished Research Paper, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, May 1994