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Home > Culture and Society

WAWIBF... The big lie

7 May 2004

This week New Scientist magazine spoke to psychiatrist Donatella Marazziti of the University of Pisa about her recent research into that most pleasurable, violent, life-affirming, utterly selfish of emotions, love. Ms Marazziti found that when men are in love, they produce less testosterone. Conversely, women produce more. Unfortunately, this information alone is neither use nor ornament.

If research grants are to be justified, findings must be interpreted; they must be made to mean something. Its no use knowing that people in love produce differing levels of various hormones. We have to know why. Sadly, there can be only one answer: deception.

As Professor Marazziti pointed out herself, when we fall in love, men and women's bodies strive to become more alike, more compatible. "Men soften and women toughen up... as if nature wants to eliminate what can be different in men and women, because it's more important to survive and mate at this stage."

So in other words, we subconsciously but deliberately transform our hormonal levels and therefore our natural modes of behaviour so that we may be more acceptable to one another. In other words, our own bodies lie so that the object of our desire finds us more attractive. Love therefore, is a lie. A big dirty lie.

Funnily enough, another recent study into love, this one carried out at University College London, came up with equally dismal findings. They discovered that when we are in love, neural circuits in the brain which are normally associated with critical assessment of other people are naturally suppressed. In other words, love fucks with our critical faculty. This is why so many people find themselves, after the lie of love has been forgotten, trapped in horrible, utterly unsuitable relationships with people they actually can't stand, shacked up and shackled to someone with whom they have absolutely nothing in common, least of all testosterone levels.

Love. Innit marvellous.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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