Adolescents and Young AdultsHealth Trends

Humans May Be Hard-Wired for Marriage

Researchers have found that humans long for romantic love and marital bond with others because they are wired for it. It’s normal to call this affection for your wife, husband, fiancé, or fiancée as chemistry, but new research shows that there are interactions in our brains and genetically-linked pre-defined spousal preferences that drive “love.”

The researchers explored the neural and genetic basis of romantic love in newlyweds using genetic analysis and functional magnetic resonance imaging. Results from the 19 newlyweds that participated in the study found that romantic love is part of a broad strategy in mammals for reproduction and long-term bond driven by complex cognitive processes and the dopamine reward system.

Essentially, the study authors summarized that we are hard-wired to sustain romantic love as a way to reproduce and nurture our children in a family unit. The team of researchers noted that the genetic component of this system was responsible for fidelity, sexual behaviors, and social behaviors including that lead to romantic love relationships and marriages.

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