Wentz Research Scholar Forrest Rogers is crowdfunding part of his research on “the hormonal love story of homosexual and heterosexual attraction” at experiment.com. Click here for information about the project and how you can help answer the question “What is the science behind love and attraction?”
ATTENTION: If you are interested in becoming a Wentz Research Scholar like Forrest, you can apply for a $4,500 Wentz Research Grant or a $750 Wentz Semester Research Grant. Click here for information about the Wentz Research Grants program.
Same Love: The Hormonal Love Story of Homosexual and Heterosexual Attraction
Previous research suggests that there is a strong link between love, attraction, and hormones. The stress hormone, cortisol, plays a critical role in attraction. Some studies suggest that there is a synchronization of cortisol in romantic partners. Unfortunately, research is lacking information about attraction within the LGBTQ community. While previous studies have focused on heterosexual couples, they have failed to include homosexual couples. Previous research has also failed to provide a description of our hormonal response to simply being exposed/presented to our significant other. That is, it is currently unclear as to what is actually happening in our bodies to make us feel the way we do when we see our significant other.
Research into the biological background of love helps us understand how we operate as couples. This information can help us understand how to strengthen our relationships. This study seeks to broaden our knowledge by expanding the research into the LGBTQ community, thus giving a bigger picture of the thing we call love. Research commonly ignores the LGBTQ community, simply because it is easier to study heterosexual couples. It is crucial that we study homosexual couples if we are to fully consider love and attraction. Our study also seeks to provide a more “real-time” description of how we respond to our romantic partners. This will give us a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the hormonal regulation of attraction.
There are two primary goals of this study:
1. We hope to discover how individuals in a couple respond hormonally to one another. This can be accomplished by collecting saliva from individuals at and around a time at which they are presented to their romantic partner. We can take this saliva and analyze it for a stress hormone, cortisol, and an additional hormone, testosterone. These could give us great insight into why we experience what we do; that is, we’ll be looking at the chemicals that make you feel butterflies.
2. We also wish to collect information about social stressors and behavior via questionnaire. Questionnaires can give us greater insight into how individuals in couples are emotionally attached to one another and what kinds of social stress they experience together.