Love for sex or sex for love?
‘A man gives love for sex and a woman gives sex for love,’ anno 2022, we have moved forward from this heteronormative cliché. But the Madonna-whore complex, can we put this concept in the trash too? In scientific psychology, sex and love are often studied separately. For my presentation, my aim is to share some ideas about how sex and love are, or aren’t, connected. Would you predict a Platonic — or a Friends-with-benefits relation — can last forever ? Is the best sex the sex you have with someone you love? Are you more satisfied with your relationship when you’re sexually satisfied?
Let’s try to find some
Love is in the brain, and so is sex!
Male rat sexual behavior is a fascinating naturally rewarding behavior that is controlled by a complex interplay among several brain regions. Rats copulate with mounts, intromissions and ejaculations, which are naturally organized in mount bouts consisting of one or more copulatory behaviors and are interspersed with time outs. After an ejaculation, a post-ejaculatory interval is present after which males continue with a new ejaculatory series. In our lab, we study the complex behavioral patterns during copulation and try to determine how the brain regulates these patterns. In this talk I will give an
overview of our discoveries regarding the
behavioral patterns of sexual behavior and
how this is regulated by our brain.
Department of Psychology, UiT The Arctic university of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
This work was supported by the Norwegian Research Council #251320
In my talk I want to focus on the dark side of love, being rejected by your partner or potential partner. In our modern society a lot of us meet our potential love interests online using dating apps. This potentially interesting and exciting way of meeting new partners has a clear downside, namely you also get rejected more often and you must deal with the disappointment of being rejected or ghosted. In my research I focus on how individuals differ in how they respond to romantic rejection and what the negative consequences are in terms of subjective, behavioral, and physiological responses. I mostly focus on internalizing psychopathology like depression and social anxiety and how these clinical factors influence the responses to rejection.
Physiology of romantic love
Neurobiological research has defined the reward circuits of the brain as central to romantic love and long lasting romantic relationships. Dopamine, oxytocin and vasopressin are among the neurotransmitters involved. The early stage of romantic love is characterized by intense attraction, especially of a sexual nature. Presumably related to this are the raised testosterone levels in women. In addition to biological and evolutionary factors, many personality-, time-, and location-related motives play a role in the mate choice. This lecture will discuss the neurobiological mechanisms that bring humans together in romantic relationships.