GRAZIAGRAM: When They Say That Love Is A Drug, They Ain’t Lying

14 February 2014 by

Kate Bosworth / Twitter

It’s Valentine’s Day, so naturally thoughts turn to the L Word, but where does love spring from if not from that initial feeling that your prospective partner is a fitty?

This week (some might say too coincidentally) a report has been released, which proposes that facial attraction is the key to how we select our partners. Well duh, I hear you say, but the research is far more interesting than that. In fact, scientists discovered that looking at a beautiful face stimulates the same region of the brain as certain drugs, the opioid system, which controls pain and reward. And just like drugs, beauty “is rewarding for people”. 

Interesting; but not mind-boggling. I mean it’s fair to say that when you’re in love with someone you find attractive (and they reciprocate!) it’s not a wholly unpleasant feeling. However, this theory was tested further when scientists invited 30 men to look upon images of women at varying degrees on the scale of ‘conventionally’ attractive. Some of the participants were given drugs, some were given an opioid suppressor and the rest were given placebos.

The drug group all spent more time ogling the Miranda Kerr types and rated them the most attractive. Meanwhile those who had taken opioid suppressors did the opposite, speeding past Kerr and not rating her as highly.

But where does this leave us, single gals of average attractiveness this Valentine’s Day? Well, short of pumping mankind full of opioid suppressors, the truth is men and women are always going to find some physical traits more attractive than others (and be rewarded for it), but I think judging by the allure of certain Have I Got News For You panelists, a sense of humour goes a long way too.

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