Hooked: New Science On How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children by Drs. Joe S. McIlhaney and Freda McKissic Bush explores the data that has emerged in the area of neuroscience and the effect of sex on young people. While the book is based on some very “heady” scientific information, the book is written in a clear and accessible manner.
The book covers the effects of two chemicals that are released in the brain when sexual contact has occurred. Oxytocin is released in the female brain. It’s primary function is to bond a mother to her child. But, the studies conducted and consulted by the authors reveal that this is also the same chemical that is released when a woman interacts with a potential mate. Vasopressin is the chemical released in the male brain that has a similar effect in men. The primary function of the chemical is to bond the male parent with their offspring. However, vasopressin also has the added function of bonding the man with potential mates.
The authors do a good job of describing the processes involved in the release of the chemical and in their effects. And, while the majority of the book covers the scientific realities of these chemical releases, they do draw some conclusions from sociological-psychological sources that point to the connected effects of engaging in physical contact with persons of the opposite sex.
Probably the most interesting conclusion that the authors draw is that the science appears to validate many of the religious convictions regarding relationships, particularly that of abstinence and monogamy. What makes this so interesting is that they are making these claims strictly drawing from scientific studies and statistics. Other areas that are addressed are the increased risk to emotional health, psychological stability, financial gain, social engagement, professional advancement and overall happiness when young people engage in the practices of casual sex, serial-partnerships and co-habitation.
One of the more stunning statistics cited related to the total number of sexual partners. Continue reading “Book Review | Hooked: New Science On How Casual Sex Is Affecting Our Children”