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Are Women Better Than Men At Breakups?
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Each week on TestTubePlus, we pick one topic and cover it from multiple angles. This series will be taking a deeper look at the science of love and human connection. Over these five episodes, host Trace Dominguez will be talking about how love affects us, the different types of love, and how people express love differently. Yesterday, Trace explained the different stages of love and how they affect our brains and bodies and how they're different in men and women. Today, he explores the different kinds of love. Do we love our pets with the same kind of love that we have for our children?
There is a widely accepted evolutionary theory of love which proposes that love functions to attract and retain a mate for the purpose of reproducing and the caring of their offspring. If evolution dictates that a being's ultimate goal is successful reproduction, then the feelings of romantic love are merely a tool to help us reach this goal. But humans may have different needs when choosing a mate. Someone might be attracted to mate with someone with long legs, for example, because their ancestors lived near predators and were chased a lot and, therefore, they have an innate desire to create off-spring who can run fast.
Long-term, romantic love supports the idea of monogamy, but there are numerous examples of animals that don't mate for life. Snakes, geckos and many different fish abandon their babies as soon as they give birth. Humans tend to love everything we produce, and sometimes even things we don't produce. We all have a friend who treats their pet like it were a child of their own. How does this fit into the evolutionary model of love? One study compared MRI data of women who were shown pictures of their dogs, pictures of their children, and pictures of unrelated dogs and children. Their brains showed similar neural patterns when they looked at their own dog and children. But when researchers compared the brain activity of a person's child to a stranger's child, there was a huge difference in brain activity. Because we're both human, we respond a bit more to a stranger's child than to a strange dogs. This suggests that as humans, we are capable of loving our pets a lot, but evolution is telling us to love our offspring (and other people's offspring, too,) a bit more, just in case.
TestTube Plus is built for enthusiastic science fans seeking out comprehensive conversations on the geeky topics they love. Each week, host Trace Dominguez probes deep to unearth the details, latest developments, and opinions on big topics like boobs, porn, the ocean, stereotypes, fear, survival, dreams, space travel, and many more.
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I like my dog, does my dog like me? (Applied Animal Behaviour)
"In this study, the possibility of there being an association between how an owner perceives his/her relationship to their dog and the way the dog experiences the relationship to its owner was investigated using two well-established methods within the anthrozoology literature."
Patterns of Brain Activation when Mothers View Their Own Child and Dog: An fMRI Study (PLOSone)
"Neural substrates underlying the human-pet relationship are largely unknown. We examined fMRI brain activation patterns as mothers viewed images of their own child and dog and an unfamiliar child and dog."
This Is Your Brain on Heartbreak (Greater Good)
"As most of us know all too well, when you're reeling from the finale of a romantic relationship that you didn't want to end, your emotional and bodily reactions are a tangle: You're still in love and want to reconcile, but you're also angry and confused; simultaneously, you're jonesing for a "fix" of the person who has abruptly left your life, and you might go to dramatic, even embarrassing, lengths to get it, even though part of you knows better."
Study: Women hurt more by breakups but recover more fully (Eureka Alert)
"Women experience more emotional pain following a breakup, but they also more fully recover, according to new research from Binghamton University. Researchers from Binghamton University and University College London asked 5,705 participants in 96 countries to rate the emotional and physical pain of a breakup on a scale of one (none) to 10 (unbearable)."