Monday, October 4, 2010

Sex Makes Women Happier

O.K. so you probably already knew that, but did you ever wonder about the actual mechanism of this? There's an article in Scientific American, no less that delves into the actual chemistry of sex, and discovers that men are walking dispensers of psychoactive drugs:
In fact, semen has a very complicated chemical profile, containing over 50 different compounds (including hormones, neurotransmitters, endorphins and immunosupressants) each with a special function and occurring in different concentrations within the seminal plasma. Perhaps the most striking of these compounds is the bundle of mood-enhancing chemicals in semen. There is good in this goo. Such anxiolytic chemicals include, but are by no means limited to, cortisol (known to increase affection), estrone (which elevates mood), prolactin (a natural antidepressant), oxytocin (also elevates mood), thyrotropin-releasing hormone (another antidepressant), melatonin (a sleep-inducing agent) and even serotonin (perhaps the most well-known antidepressant neurotransmitter).
Sex has a leveling effect on the male mind too, although the authors don't offer any suggestions regarding this.

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