Editors' Note: Guest blogger, Dr. Helen Fisher, is the founder and Chief Scientific Advisor to Chemistry.com. Dr. Fisher will be posting every Sunday evening for the next month, so someone fix her a plate.
I am so delighted to be a part of The Bilerico Project and blog over the next few weeks. It is an honor to be writing alongside the other contributors, especially during this momentous week.
Foremost, I am thrilled for the men and women who will finally be able to marry. I have never understood why some people get so upset about gay marriage. I study the human brain. And I have long maintained that humanity has evolved three distinct brain systems for mating and reproduction: the sex drive, intense romantic love, and deep attachment to a long term partner. And when I gave a questionnaire on romantic love to 437 Americans and 402 Japanese, I found that my homosexual participants expressed just as much romantic passion as did my heterosexuals. Gays and lesbians, I am convinced, have inherited exactly the same brain networks for romantic love and deep attachment as everybody else. So I am not surprised that many want to marry. It's natural.
So what's the fuss about? Why have some Americans been (and continue to be) so deeply opposed to gay marriage? We all know that religion is, at least in part, accountable. Marriage has long been a custom in every society on earth. But the early Christian Fathers hijacked this ancient tradition and designated it a sacrament. So today some Christians regard marriage as their property - to be allocated only according to their strictures.
But those opposed to gay marriage seem so riled that I have come to believe they are also responding from some primordial part of the brain associated with self preservation. Perhaps these Christians fear that their "god given" institution for reproduction will be diminished if they permit non-reproducing individuals to marry, thereby threatening the future of their own DNA. It really makes no sense. Moreover, it's a pity these Christians can't behave more like Christians and love their neighbors as they love themselves.
But in any case, today is a day of celebration. My heart goes out to everyone in the gay community. Many don't want to marry, as many heterosexuals don't either. But at least if you want to, and you live in the state of California: you can. BRAVO.
Last, as Chief Scientific Advisor to Chemistry.com, I would like to share that we're celebrating love by offering free trials to Chemistry.com for all Californians. Everyone deserves the chance to find a great relationship.
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