Neuroscientist Larry Young has identified a "biochemical chain of events" that may lead to human love. According to the Times' John Tierney, this means we'll soon have a workable love potion — or love vaccine.
According to Dr. Young, love between sexual partners may have evolved from mother-child bonding, which is one reason some types of foreplay mimic nursing. Sex and breast touching may stimulate a "cocktail of ancient neuropeptides," such as oxytocin, causing us to bond with the people we bone.
Young speculates that we could one day synthesize this cocktail and slip it into people's, um, cocktails, effectively roofying them with love. Although love-drugging someone else would obviously be immoral, he says, "if you’re in a marriage and want to maintain that relationship, you might take a little booster shot yourself every now and then." But Tierney thinks he has a better idea — a love vaccine, "what humans have sought ever since Odysseus ordered his crew to tie him to the mast while sailing past the Sirens."
On his blog, Tierney quotes anthropologist Helen Fisher on the love-vaccine capabilities of antidepressants: "Take enough Prozac beforehand, and your emotions will be so blunted that you won’t even get into bed with anyone." But is love, as Tierney claims, the "dangerous disease" that caused "Britney Spears’ quickie Vegas wedding or any of Larry King’s seven marriages"? Or would these people have benefited more from a dumbass vaccine?