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Entries in hormones (6)

Tuesday
Jan142014

The Biology of Cheating

In the movie Unfaithful, Diane Lane’s character seems to have it all: a nice house, kids, and a hunky husband to boot (played by Richard Gere). Yet, following a chance encounter with an attractive younger man, she finds herself being, well, unfaithful. Why would she risk all of the nice things in her life by cheating? There are several reasons why she would take such a risk. It could be something about her (her personality or self-esteem), something about her relationship (not satisfying or unfulfilling), or something about the situation (she just had the chance). However, infidelity or cheating could also result from, at least partially, underlying biological and hormonal influences.

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Wednesday
Jan302013

Pucker Up: What Women’s Lips Say About Their Orgasm

If you have spent any time at all on the Internet, you’ve seen pictures of girls making a flirty, lips pushed out expression, or what has come to be known as the "duck face." Those who make this face in pictures may be doing so to emulate Kim Kardashian or because they think it makes them look more attractive. Clearly, women who "duck face" are trying to emphasize their lips, which according to scientists reveals quite a bit of information.

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Monday
May072012

Judging a Book by its Smell

After having three dates with a gentleman recently, I decided to stop seeing him. At the risk of sounding shallow, I just didn’t like the way he tasted or smelled. Let me explain. Our first date was a quick cup of coffee one Saturday afternoon. The conversation was interesting. We had a number of things in common, he was attractive and funny, and there was enough of a spark to make me want to kiss him after the date. Sadly, the kiss left something to be desired. His mouth had a metallic taste to it, which I thought might have been due to the bitter coffee he had been nursing during our conversation. He wasn’t wearing braces or anything, so rather than assume that it was something about him (something us psychologists call an internal attribution), I agreed to another date when he asked me out again.

Our second date entailed dinner and a few glasses of wine. He walked me to my car afterwards and kissed me. Same metallic flavor. Yuck. I moved in to give him a hug and smelled his neck.

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Monday
Apr022012

Testosterone: It's There for Dads When They Need It

I have two kids. One is 3½ and generally sleeps through the night. The other is 14 months old and either fancies himself as living on a farm or simply likes to jack with his parents by waking up most mornings between 4 and 5 a.m. He may or may not go back to sleep after a trip to the milk bar, typically depending on how late we went to sleep the evening prior (it’s uncanny). Most nights, I admittedly sleep through the first of his wake-ups, and, in fact, often have no conscious recollection of ever hearing him squawk for us from the adjacent room. But, when my wife is out of town or taking in a way-too-early spin class, I find myself jumping out of bed with the urgency of a testosterone-fueled (albeit very tired) man-protector, ready to address whatever it is that has awoken young Mowgli.

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Monday
Mar052012

When Stress Hits, Call Your Mother. Don’t Text, Talk to Her. Really.

You’ve had a crappy day. Maybe your boss yelled at you, you forgot to pay the mortgage, or you lost your keys. When life stresses you out, sometimes you need your momma. After all, how many times have you heard your mom say how nice it is to hear your voice? But recent research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that it may be you that benefits from hearing your mother’s voice.

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Thursday
Jan052012

Co-Sleeping with Infants Reduces Their Stress Reactions

Researchers assessed infants’ cortisol following a routine (but often distressing) bath at 5 weeks of age to determine whether sleeping arrangements affect how infants manage stress. Infants who co-slept, spending at least half the night in the same room with their moms (most were not in the same bed), had lower cortisol after bathing than did infants who slept in their own rooms. Other variables (e.g., breastfeeding, maternal responsiveness) did not account for the results.

Tollenaar, M. S., Beijers, R., Jansen, J., Riksen-Walraven, J. M. A., & de Weerth, C. (2012). Solitary sleeping in young infants is associated with heightened cortisol reactivity to a bathing session but not to a vaccination. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37, 167-177.

image source: farm6.staticflickr.com