The reading was about Neurobiology and the peculiarity of kinship. The makes various interesting assertions on the basis of kinship and the role of the neuroendocrine system in the construction of interpersonal bonds. Beginning with the astounding details of the viral photo of the wedding between Stephanie Figarelle and Lela McArthur, the author cements the fabric of the claims that the oxytocin hormone is the element responsible for love, bonding, and trust. The author concludes that there ought to be a rethinking of the real meaning of kinship to mean a form of “biological investment in each other” resulting from companionship, close association, and intimacy.
One thing I found interesting in the reading is that embodied relations lead to behavioral synchrony. Bodies which closely related to one another become accustomed to the behavior, and sensory and motor cues of each other. Such a claim is backed up by the adaptionist theory which posits that the bond between the mother and infant owes its object and quality to evolution. Moreover, synchrony has been observed in the way human beings coordinate speech patterns and eye blinking.
What I didn’t understand in the text is the roles of oxytocin and vasopressin on parenting and behavior. Even though it makes undisputable sense that oxytocin is responsible for the strong attachment between the mother and the child, I did not quite understand the bearing of the hormone on the behavior of the child. Furthermore, oxytocin is majorly a female hormone, which implies that male parents do not have the hormone. Despite the author’s endeavor to explain that vasopressin in males plays a similar role as oxytocin in females, the argument appeared vague and more confusing.
One great aspect of the article is the details on how monogamous marriages form. The author’s disclaimer at the onset is that men and women are not equal. Excessive feminism has, however, confused masses to imagine an absolute similarity between men and women, leading to lesbianism, gays, and same-sex marriages. But how exactly do pairs bond? With the example of monogamous voles, the author’s argument is that mating and joint parenting initiate very strong bonds between partners. In fact, separating a mated pair causes depression in Prairie voles.
One thing that bothers me about the article is the role of oxytocin as an agent in social relationships. Of particular interest is the role of the hormone in recalling pleasant social experiences and corresponding poor recall of negative experiences and stimuli. The fact that oxytocin plays a role in sexual intercourse and intimate touch is overwhelming, especially the scientific research that cements the fabric of this insinuation. Is it right to claim that oxytocin creates the preference of partners in monogamy?
The surprising aspect of the reading is that there are 563 cultures across the globe, and only 17% of these cultures embrace monogamy. Implicitly, human beings are not monogamous. Yet, it is believed that human beings are able to bond in the same manner as the monogamous Prairie voles. Even in cultures that do not embrace monogamy, sociosexual bonding is possible because it is recognized as an important contributor to the mental health and physical well-being of the offspring.
To conclude, the reading made me think of kinship as an indispensable aspect of human existence. The role of the neuroendocrine system is imperative in the interaction between the human species. The article made me rethink marriage as a particular aspect of human interaction. It made me reminisce about the significance of unity in diversity. In spite of the feminist campaigns which sought to draw a clear line of absolute similarity between men and women, recognizing the obvious divergence between these two genders is important in solving some of the social and moral dilemmas like same-sex marriage.