Earp explains how chemical enhancement could save your marriage. That means that we have a preconscious drive to desire some form of commitment with a single individual, at least for a limited time, but we can find ourselves tempted by other sexual opportunities as well. The site's critical consensus reads, "It's a pleasure to see Hollywood produce a romance this refreshingly adult, but Love and Other Drugs struggles to find a balance between its disparate plot elements. Could we eliminate adultery using knowledge of neurophysiology, then? I think we should pause here and consider whether taking oxytocin really is ethically on par with drinking a bottle of wine or using Viagra. After all, a couple who share a bottle of wine over a romantic dinner are ingesting a pretty powerful chemical substance, and it could certainly count as a love drug if used in the right way. Older couples who find that Viagra can restore a healthy sex life are using another form of love drug. In the case of love drugs, there are countless considerations to worry about. Pittsburgh doubled as Chicago for some scenes. Yet heavy-handed regulation of human mating arrangements usually has precisely those results. In most cases, before considering the use of drugs, doctors and clinical psychologists should encourage a depressed person to address her mental health issue through non-biochemical means like talk therapy, and by making relevant changes to the broader circumstances of her life. We are where we are, and we need to make the best of it.
This sort of research opens up the possibility that we could keep our modern values and our modern environment, and bring our ancient drives into line with both. Given these three factors, it can hardly come as a surprise — although it is no less regrettable — that at least one-fifth of husbands, and at least one-tenth of wives, commit adultery. And what, if anything, can be done about it? I think people might find it and like it, even though it is a little bit risky. As a general approach, we cannot simply avoid the harm of adultery by switching to open marriages, if that harm depends on a fundamental evolved emotional response like jealousy. This is a good question, and the answer is: Think of the rule that we should only have sex with our spouse, and of the notion that the mysterious power of love should keep our relationships running for decade after decade, long after our children have left the house. A lot of evidence now indicates that our species did not evolve as monogamous. In other words, even though the patriarchal norms that favored male promiscuity in that era may resonate better with facts about human biology, they are certainly not in tune with modern ideals about mutual respect, gender equality, and so on. We are where we are, and we need to make the best of it. After all, a couple who share a bottle of wine over a romantic dinner are ingesting a pretty powerful chemical substance, and it could certainly count as a love drug if used in the right way. Recent work in a number of scientific fields suggests that we will soon be able to intervene directly in the psychobiological systems that control such complex phenomena as moral decision-making, mathematical ability, learning and memory, and even love, lust and attachment. But I give the American public more credit than that. That means that we have a preconscious drive to desire some form of commitment with a single individual, at least for a limited time, but we can find ourselves tempted by other sexual opportunities as well. That is, using existing and near-future biotechnology, we will have the power to strengthen the bond of love by acting directly on the brains involved. Consider an analogy with chronic depression, and its treatment through neurochemical means, perhaps with an antidepressant like citalopram. Marriage is a mixed-up institution. Our ancestors did form cooperative pair-bonds, and little hominid babies require a lot of attention from both parents for about the first four years of life, but both males and females have had sex outside of their primary reproductive alliances throughout our evolutionary history. There seem to be some important differences. That was the predicament faced by Natasha Nelson, a thirty-five-year-old public relations executive, after she found out that her brand-new husband had been carrying on a relationship with his ex-girlfriend: In that case, love drugs could give them the boost they need. I think we should pause here and consider whether taking oxytocin really is ethically on par with drinking a bottle of wine or using Viagra. I think that people are curious and people do love love stories. Obviously, the adultery rate in Pakistan did not drop to zero after To stick with our example about adultery for a while longer, we could try to convince people that because extra-marital sex is natural — because the urge to cheat was built into us by evolution — they should stop getting upset when their partners stray. But in some cases, the chemical enhancement of a marriage bond might make the difference between a family falling apart or staying together.
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