The relationship between the human brain and sexuality analyzes the roots and causes of male and female sexual behavior, abilities, pleasures, and skills and discusses the nature of gender
Who do we love? Who loves us? And why? Is love really a mystery, or can neuroscience offer some answers to these age-old questions? In her third enthralling book about the brain, Judith Horstman takes us on a lively tour of our most important sex and love organ and the whole smorgasbord of our many kinds of love-from the bonding of parent and child to the passion of erotic love, the affectionate love of companionship, the role of animals in our lives, and the love of God. Drawing on the latest neuroscience, she explores why and how we are born to love-how we're hardwired to crave the companionship of others, and how very badly things can go without love. Among the findings: parental love makes our brain bigger, sex and orgasm make it healthier, social isolation makes it miserable-and although the craving for romantic love can be described as an addiction, friendship may actually be the most important loving relationship of your life. Based on recent studies and articles culled from the prestigious Scientific American and Scientific American Mind magazines, The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex, and the Brain offers a fascinating look at how the brain controls our loving relationships, most intimate moments, and our deep and basic need for connection.
Go beyond the headlines and the hype to get the newest findings in the burgeoning field of gender studies. Drawing on disciplines that include evolutionary science, anthropology, animal behavior, neuroscience, psychology, and endocrinology, Deborah Blum explores matters ranging from the link between immunology and sex to male/female gossip styles. The results are intriguing, startling, and often very amusing. For instance, did you know that. . . ? Male testosterone levels drop in happy marriages; scientists speculate that women may use monogamy to control male behavior ? Young female children who are in day-care are apt to be more secure than those kept at home; young male children less so ? Anthropologists classify Western societies as "mildly polygamous"The Los Angeles Times has called Sex on the Brain "superbly crafted science writing, graced by unusual compassion, wit, and intelligence, that forms an important addition to the literature of gender studies."
This collection of foundational papers on sex differences in the brain traces the development of a much-invoked, fast-growing young field at the intersection of brain and behavior. The reader is introduced to the meaning and nature of sexual dimorphisms, the mechanisms and consequences of steroid hormone action, and the impact of the field on interpretations of sexuality and gender. Building on each other in point-counterpoint fashion, the papers tell a fascinating story of an emerging science working out its core assumptions. Experimental and theoretical papers, woven together by editor's introductions, open a window onto knowledge in the making and a vigorous debate between reductionist and pluralist interpreters. Five major sections include papers on conceptual and methodological background, central nervous system dimorphisms, mechanisms for creating dimorphisms, dimorphisms and cognition, and dimorphisms and identity. Each section builds from basic concepts to early experiments, from experimental models to humans, and from molecules to mind. Papers by such leading scholars as Arthur Arnold, Frank Beach, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Patricia Goldman-Rakic, Doreen Kimura, Simon LeVay, Bruce McEwen, Michael Merzenich, Bertram O'Malley, Geoffrey Raisman, and Dick Swaab, illustrate a rich blend of perspectives, approaches, methods, and findings. Sex and the Brain will show students how a scientific paper can be analyzed from many perspectives, and supply them with critical tools for judging a rapidly emerging science in a contentious area.
The brains of males and females, men and women, are different, that is a fact. What is debated is how different and how important are those differences. Sex differences in the brain are determined by genetics, hormones, and experience, which in humans includes culture, society, and parental and peer expectations. The importance of nonbiological variables to sex differences in humans is paramount, making it difficult if not impossible to parse out those contributions that are truly biological. The study of animals provides us the opportunity to understand the magnitude and scope of biologically based sex differences in the brain, and understanding the cellular mechanisms provides us insight into novel sources of brain plasticity. Many sex differences are established during a developmental sensitive window by differences in the hormonal milieu of males versus females. The neonatal testis produces large amounts of testosterone which gains access to the brain and is further metabolized into active androgens and estrogens which modify brain development. Major parameters that are influenced by hormones include neurogenesis, cell death, neurochemical phenotype, axonal and dendritic growth, and synaptogenesis. Variance in these parameters results in sex differences in the size of particular brain regions, the projections between brain regions, and the number and type of synapses within particular brain regions. The cellular mechanisms are both region and endpoint specific and invoke many surprising systems such as prostaglandins, endocannabinoids, and cell death proteins. Epigenetic modifications to the genome both establish and maintain sex differences in the brain and behavior. By understanding when, why, and how sex differences in the brain are established, we may also learn the source of strong gender biases in the relative risk and severity of numerous neurological diseases and disorders of mental health. Boys are much more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum or attention and hyperactivity disorders, as well as speech and language deficits, compared to girls. By contrast, women are more likely to suffer from affective disorders, such as depression, anxiety, compulsion, and eating disorders and more likely to experience autoimmune and neurodegenerative disorders. Schizophrenia with an early onset is more common in males but a late-onset version is markedly more frequent in females. Male biased disorders have origins in development while female biased disorders are almost exclusively post-puberty. This remarkable shift in disease risk demands our attention. Novel insights into the biological origins of disease are also gained by comparing and contrasting the same processes in different sexes.
Draws on the latest neuroscientific findings beyond cultural perceptions to reveal how the brain processes love and interpersonal relationships, addressing such questions as the practicality of monogamy, the relationship between love and hate and whether or not the "seven-year itch" actually exists.
Society tells us that sex is an act of self-expression, a personal choice for physical pleasure that can be summed up in the ubiquitous phrase: “hooking up". Millions of American teenagers and young adults are finding that the psychological baggage of such behavior is having a real and lasting impact on their lives. They are discovering that “hooking up” is the easy part, but “unhooking” from the bonds of a sexual relationship can have serious consequences. A practical look into new scientific research showing how sexual activity causes the release of brain chemicals, which then result in emotional bonding and a powerful desire to repeat the activity. This book will help parents and singles understand that “safe sex” isn't safe at all; that even if they are protected against STDs and pregnancy, they are still hurting themselves and their partner.
The best-selling author of Change Your Brain offers a practical guide to enhancing one's love life, presenting up-to-date information, helpful advice and techniques, and twelve important lessons based on the latest research into brain science. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
The author the best-selling The Female Brain identifies gender differences in the brain, behavior, and hormones to reveal the fundamental characteristics of male realities, offering insight into such topics as the male problem-solving process, competitive aptitude and sexual drive.
In 1846 a small book entitled Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bellappeared on the British Literary scene. The three psuedonymous poets, the Brontë sisters went on to unprecedented success with such novels as Wuthering Heights, Agnes Grey, and Jane Eyre, all published in the following year. As children, these English sisters had begun writing poems and stories abotu an imaginary country named Gondal, yet they never sought to publish any of their work until Charlotte's discovery of Emily's more mature poems in the autumn of 1845. Charlotte later recalled: "I accidentally lighted on a MS. volume of verse in my sister Emily's handwriting....I looked it over, amd something more than surprise seized me -- a deep conviction that these were not common effusions, nor at all like the poetry women generally write. I thought them condensed and terse, vigorous and genuine. To my ear they had also a peculiar music -- wild, melancholy, and elevating." The renowned Hatfield edition of The Complete Poems of Emily Jane Brontë includes the poetry that captivated Charlotte Brontë a century and a half ago, a body of work that continues to resonate today. This incomparable volume includes Emily's verse from Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell as well as 200 works collected from various manuscript sources after her death in 1848. Some were deited and preserved by Charlotte and Arthur Bell Nichols; still others were discovered years later by Brontë scholars. Originally released in 1923, Hatfield's collection was the result of a remarkable attempt over twenty years to isolate Emily's poems from her sisters' and to achieve chronological order. Accompanied by an interpretive preface on "The Gondal Story" by Miss Fannie E. Ratchford, author of The Brontë's Web of Childhood, the edition is the definitive collection of Emily Brontë's poetical works.
What if great sex wasn't just great sex: what if great sex could actually change your life? A groundbreaking and intriguing look at how each one of us can grab a better life through better sex, this book lays out a bold yet simple path for uncovering desire and maximizing its effects. You will learn how to discover your true desires, understand what they mean, and use those secrets to create powerful change.
Doreen Kimura provides an intelligible overview of what is known about the neural and hormonal bases of sex differences in behavior, particularly differences in cognitive ability.
Since Dr. Brizendine wrote The Female Brain ten years ago, the response has been overwhelming. This New York Times bestseller has been translated into more than thirty languages, has sold nearly a million copies between editions, and has most recently inspired a romantic comedy starring Whitney Cummings and Sofia Vergara. And its profound scientific understanding of the nature and experience of the female brain continues to guide women as they pass through life stages, to help men better understand the girls and women in their lives, and to illuminate the delicate emotional machinery of a love relationship. Every brain begins as a female brain. It only becomes male eight weeks after conception, when excess testosterone shrinks the communications center, reduces the hearing cortex, and makes the part of the brain that processes sex twice as large. Louann Brizendine, M.D. is a pioneering neuropsychiatrist who brings together the latest findings to show how the unique structure of the female brain determines how women think, what they value, how they communicate, and whom they’ll love. Brizendine reveals the neurological explanations behind why • A woman remembers fights that a man insists never happened • A teen girl is so obsessed with her looks and talking on the phone • Thoughts about sex enter a woman’s brain once every couple of days but enter a man’s brain about once every minute • A woman knows what people are feeling, while a man can’t spot an emotion unless somebody cries or threatens bodily harm • A woman over 50 is more likely to initiate divorce than a man Women will come away from this book knowing that they have a lean, mean communicating machine. Men will develop a serious case of brain envy.
Do biological factors, such as gonadal hormones, determine our sexual destiny after our genes are in place? Do they make men aggressive, or women nurturing? Do they cause boys and girls to play differently or to have different interests? Do they explain differences in sexual orientation within each sex group? Do they contribute to the preponderance of men in science or women at home? Scientists working from a psychosocial perspective would answer these questions differently than those working from a behavioral neuroscience or neuroendocrinological perspective. This book brings both of these perspectives to bear on the questions, tracing the factors that influence the brain, beginning with testosterone and other hormones during prenatal life, and continuing through changing life situations and experiences that can sculpt the brain and its activity, even in adulthood. This influence has important implications for understanding the social roles of men and women in society, the different educational and emotional issues that confront males and females, the legal rights of those whose sexual orientation or gender identity do not correspond to norms, and even standards of clinical care for people born with physical intersex conditions that make it difficult to classify a person as male or female at birth. This original and accessible book will be of interest to psychologists, neuroscientists, pediatricians, and educators, as well as the general public. It is also suitable for use in graduate and undergraduate courses on the psychology of gender or on hormones and behavior.
Written with the same clarity, directness, and humor that have made Simon LeVay one of the most popular lecturers at Harvard Medical School and at the University of California, San Diego, The Sexual Brain examines the biological roots of human sexual behavior. It puts forward the compelling case that the diversity of human sexual feelings and behavior can best be understood in terms of the development, structure, and function of the brain circuits that produce them. Discarding all preconceptions about the motivation and purpose of sexuality, LeVay discusses the scientific evidence bearing on such questions as why we are sexual animals, what the brain mechanisms are that produce sexual behavior, how these mechanisms differ between men and women and how these differences develop, and finally, what determines a person's sexual orientation: genes, prenatal events, family environment, or early sexual experiences? The Sexual Brain is broad in scope, covering evolutionary theory, molecular genetics, endocrinology, brain structure and function, cognitive psychology, and development. It is unified by LeVay's thesis that human sexual behavior, in all its diversity, is rooted in biological mechanisms that can be explored by laboratory science. The book does not shy away from the complexities of the field, but it can be readily appreciated and enjoyed by anyone with an intelligent interest in sex.
Jordan-Young has written a stunning book that demolishes most of the science associated with the dominant paradigm of the development of sex and gender identity, behavior, and orientation. The current paradigm, brain organization theory, proposes: "Because of early exposure to different sex hormones, males and females have different brains"; and these hormones also create "gay" and "straight" brains. Jordan-Young interviewed virtually every major researcher in the field and reviewed hundreds of published scientific papers. Her conclusion: "Brain organization theory is little more than an elaboration of longstanding folk tales about antagonistic male and female essences and how they connect to antagonistic male and female natures." She explains, in exquisite detail, the flaws in the underlying science, from experimental designs that make no statistical sense to "conceptually sloppy" definitions of male and female sexuality, contradictory results, and the social construction of normality. Her conclusion that the patterns we see are far more complicated than previously believed and due to a wider range of variables will shake up the research community and alter public perception.
Sex Differences in the Central Nervous System offers a comprehensive examination of the current state of sex differences research, from both the basic science and clinical research perspectives. Given the current NIH directive that funded preclinical research must consider both females and males, this topic is of interest to an increasing percentage of the neuroscience research population. The volume serves as an invaluable resource, offering coverage of a wide range of topics: sex differences in cognition, learning, and memory, sex hormone signaling mechanisms, neuroimmune interactions, epigenetics, social behavior, neurologic disease, psychological disorders, and stress. Discussions of research in both animal models and human patient populations are included. Details how sex hormones have widespread effects on the nervous system and influence the way males and females function Assists readers in determining how sex impacts their research and practice, and assists in determining how to adjust research programs to incorporate sex influences Includes discussions of research in both animal models and human patient populations, and at various developmental stages Features revised and updated chapters by leaders in the field around the globe—the broadest, most expert coverage available
Within the basic and clinical biomedical research community, there is increasing recognition that differences between males and females across the lifespan affect an individual's health, his/her development of disease, signs and symptoms of pathophysiology, and response to therapy. This book is intended as a resource for scientists, clinicians, and students of the nervous system and behavior- a trove of practical information about how to study sex differences in the brain as well as a discussion of what is already known on the topic.
In this fascinating tour of the way our brains control our most basic drives, John Young takes a small part of the human anatomy and explains its role in the regulation of our basic needs and desires, including sex, sleep, thirst, hunger and more. Drawing on the latest research, he conveys even complex ideas in accessible and enjoyable fashion.
How much control do we have over love? Much less than we like to think. All that mystery, all that poetry, all those complex behaviors surrounding human bonding leading to the most life-changing decisions we’ll ever make, are unconsciously driven by a few molecules in our brains. How does love begin? How can two strangers come to the conclusion that it would not only be pleasant to share their lives, but that they must share them? How can a man say he loves his wife, yet still cheat on her? Why do others stay in relationships even after the romance fades? How is it possible to fall in love with the “wrong” person? How do people come to have a “type”? Physical attraction, jealousy, infidelity, mother-infant bonding—all the behaviors that so often leave us befuddled—are now being teased out of the fog of mystery thanks to today’s social neuroscience. Larry Young, one of the world’s leading experts in the field, and journalist Brian Alexander explain how those findings apply to you. Drawing on real human stories and research from labs around the world, The Chemistry Between Us is a bold attempt to create a “grand unified theory” of love. Some of the mind-blowing insights include: Love can get such a grip on us because it is, literally, an addiction. To a woman falling in love, a man is like her baby. Why it’s false to say society makes gender, and how it’s possible to have the body of one gender and the brain of another. Why some people are more likely to cheat than others. Why we sometimes truly can’t resist temptation. Young and Alexander place their revelations into historical, political, and social contexts. In the process, they touch on everything from gay marriage to why single-mother households might not be good for society. The Chemistry Between Us offers powerful insights into love, sex, gender, sexual orientation, and family life that will prove to be enlightening, controversial, and thought provoking.