Biological Precursors Of Lust And Love

1827 words - 7 pages

The premiere of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac in 1897 introduced a love affair that would be remembered for years to come; Baron Christian de Neuvillette and Cyrano de Bergerac’s yearning for Lady Roxane’s love inspires them to collaborate in earning her love. However, research shows that the female body physiologically desires different traits in males across the cycle of menstruation. It can be argued that Christian and Cyrano cannot create a single, ideal persona for Roxane to pursue a relationship with, given their personalities evoke functionally separate responses and will seem appealing to Roxane during different times within her menstruation cycle.
The Menstrual Cycle
A woman’s 28-day span of menstruation is a time to prepare for the conception of a child. Various hormones have been found to continuously occur in correspondence to a woman’s certain stage of menstruation (Puts, 2006, p. 117). The fluctuation of these chemicals exhibits varying responses throughout the body that influence “romantic, sexual emotions” and intentions behind a female’s preferences in a male partner (Crenshaw, 1996, p. 3). Around the 14th day of a woman’s menstruation cycle, for example, the hormone progesterone has been found to be low in concentration (Puts, 2006, p. 125). Within the same 24-48 hour timespan, “prolactin levels peak” (Puts, 2006, p. 125). From this point until the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle, also known as the luteal phase, her progesterone levels begin to rise as prolactin levels fall. The effects of these hormones on the female body reveal a link between the chemical content of a woman during menstruation and her preferences in male partners.

Probable, Hormonal Causes to Roxane’s Lust for Christian
The 24-48 hour window in which a woman’s prolactin levels increase is most commonly known as ovulation. During this period, the ovary releases an egg, increasing a woman’s fertility and ability to conceiving a child. The secretion of prolactin that simultaneously occurs has been “associated with preferences for males with more masculine” traits as well as sexual desire (Puts, 2006, p. 123). For centuries, traits of masculinity, often defined by beauty, have gone hand-in-hand with fertility rates. “[Females prefer] highly fertile mates mainly for sexual relationships and near ovulation” considering a “more masculine males are less investing but more fertile” in their contribution to a relationship (Puts, 2006, p. 116). In viewing beauty/masculinity as promising fertility, lusting over a man is second-nature during ovulation because of the increased probability to procreate.
It has also been noted that a raise in prolactin levels, which occurs around the time of ovulation, is correlated to “the quality of one’s decisions” being less thorough (Sevy et al., 2006, p. 229). It is important to properly define lust before examining this statement. Lust is noted as the “wish, need, or drive to seek out sexual objects or to engage in sexual...

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