“Helen Fisher!” Ellen exclaims, pointing at her.
Fisher, a women’s cult figure and an anthropologist, has long argued that falling in love—and falling out of love—is part of our evolutionary biology and that humans are programmed not for lifelong monogamy, but for serial monogamy. (In stretches of four years, to be exact, approximately the time it takes to get one kid safely through infancy.)
Why Him? Why Her? explains the hormonal forces that trigger humans to be romantically attracted to some people and not to others (a phenomenon also documented in the animal world). Fisher posits that each of us gets dosed in the womb with different levels of hormones that impel us toward one of four basic personality types:
The Explorer—the libidinous, creative adventurer who acts “on the spur of the moment.” Operative neurochemical: dopamine.
The Builder—the much calmer person who has “traditional values.” The Builder also “would rather have loyal friends than interesting friends,” enjoys routines, and places a high priority on taking care of his or her possessions. Operative neurotransmitter: serotonin.
The Director—the “analytical and logical” thinker who enjoys a good argument. The Director wants to discover all the features of his or her new camera or computer. Operative hormone: testosterone.
The Negotiator—the touchy-feely communicator who imagines “both wonderful and horrible things happening” to him- or herself. Operative hormone: estrogen, then oxytocin.
FROM THE ATLANTIC & yes, it is a really cool article & all BUT i always get annoyed when these Helen Fisher categories are trounced out like they original. They are just like the elements Fire, Earth, Air & Water or Jung’s Types or Myers Briggs or the Medieval temperaments…Surely. I mean, exchange Aries-Leo-Sagg for the Explorer Archetype, the Earth Signs of Taurus, Virgo & Cap for the Builder, Gemini-Aqua-Libra for the Director & the Water Signs of Pisces, Scorpio and Cancer for the Negotiator.
BUT i love the hormonal theory…And I love how the male Fire Signs would HATE to hear it was the Air Signs apparently running on testosterone, not them…Apparently baked potatoes produce an immense amount of Serotonin. Also, does this mean that if you are low in one particular element chart-wise or – as Jung et al have it – you have a less-expressed type…that you would benefit from supplementing with whatever hormonal neurotransmitter?
I did Myers-Brigg once at a health farm. They said I was an intuitive extrovert with low dependability. But you cannot always judge peeps with salt-caffeine-sauvignon blanc withdrawal. The questionnaire had things like: When you arrive at a party, do you (a) dance naked on the table or (b) Weep in the bathroom?
Oxytocin is – I think – the chocolate, orgasm and childbirth hormone?
Let’s do a quick poll:
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