New Study Shows Orgasms May “Rewire” The Brain For Monogamy

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A new study has discovered that orgasms may rewire a couple’s brains for monogamy.

The study, published in the journal eLife, looked at the brain areas activated in prairie voles during mating and pair bonding.

These small rodents are among the 3% to 5% of mammals mate for life—closely resembling the mating behaviour of humans.

prairie voles
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The study found that both male and female prairie voles experience almost identical neural patters across the 68 distinct brain regions while mating, bonding and creating long-term monogamous bonds.

Perhaps even more revelatory is the connection researchers found between orgasms and these bonds.

The research found that the male vole’s ejaculation served as a predictor for the brain activity associated with bonding for both male and female voles.

These findings offer some interesting insight into human sex and monogamy, challenging previously-held beliefs around men not experiencing the same bonding hormones women do during and after sex.

Generally, women are believed to get more ‘attached’ than men do.

However, the high similarity between male and female vole’s brain activity during and after intercourse, may challenge these beliefs.

orgasms mating
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“That was a surprise,” said Steven Phelps, a professor of integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin and senior author of the study told Pyspost.

“Sex hormones like testosterone, estrogen and progesterone are important for sexual, aggressive and parental behaviors, so the prevailing hypothesis was that brain activity during mating and bonding would also be different between the sexes.”

“The brain and behavior data suggest that both sexes may be having orgasm-like responses, and these ‘orgasms’ coordinate the formation of a bond,” Phelps said. “If true, it would imply that orgasms can serve as a means to promote connection, as has long been suggested in humans.”

While the study provides some revelatory insights, the researchers acknowledge that there’s still more research to be done.

We’re looking forward to finding out more.

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