Human sexual attraction is bewildering, exasperating, euphoric and potentially dangerous. It is, like romantic love, an indefinable essence. The beating pulse, the clammy palms, and the flood of chemicals to our brain, are all part of the mysterious alchemy of attraction.
All of us know that our culture values sexiness a lot, just look at our advertising. But what is ‘sexiness’ from a scientific point of view and what makes ‘sexy’ ‘sexy’? The ‘sexiness’ the scientists are exploring is more than stand to attention breasts and washboard abs. This ‘sexiness’ is central to the survival of our species. It is nature’s way of ensuring that we reproduce, at just the right time, with just the right partner. Nature understands the benefits of couples staying together for more than a one night stand, long enough to raise our kids.
In this compelling program, Naked Science, reveals just how manipulative nature can be. Evolution has made us all vulnerable to nature’s complex chemical cocktail of hormones. And subconscious desires control what we find sexy, and who we think of as ‘hot’ or not.
To provide for themselves and their offspring, women seek providers, men with money, power, maturity, ambition, stability, commitment, health, and cooperative natures. Men, for similar reasons, invest their time, resources, and sperm in young, beautiful, and fertile women who will give them heirs and status. The capacity for multiple partners, casual sex, jealousy (a protective response), and divorce are all adaptive mechanisms to help people achieve their reproductive potential.
Taking desire into the lab, Naked Science can reveal that when it comes to attraction, we are at the mercy of our biochemistry. And these feelings are so powerful that they should carry a Government health warning.
Research concludes that sexual attraction is a biologically based drive just like hunger or thirst. The science of attraction helps account for why we might cross the Atlantic for a single kiss or plunge into hopeless despair if our lover dumps us. It’s this drive for love that enables us to focus on one particular person, although we often can’t explain why.
‘Sexiness’, ‘desire’, call it what you will, is distilled from an intoxicating hormonal mix designed to encourage human reproduction. A chemical cocktail that really does make the world go around.