Thursday, October 28, 2010

Brains, Babies and Birth Control

Although Great Britain is a bit too Big Brother-ish for me (what with their cctv cameras seemingly everywhere), they seem to have more interesting newspapers. Recently, both the Telegraph and the Mail had articles touching on babies and birth control.

The Telegraph's article, which I have personally titled, "Why Feminists are So Stupid", took a look at the myth that mother's brains turn to mush when they have a baby. Not surprisingly, this anti-natalist myth is just that, a myth. As might be expected, if we took a moment to think about all the skills a new mom has to learn, and learn quickly, researchers have found that, "the brains of new mothers bulk up as they coped with the steep learning curve dealing with a newborn." What might not be so intuitive, however, is the finding that the mothers who, "gushed the most about their babies showed the greatest growth in key parts of the brain". The areas most affected were those, "involved with motivation - the hypothalamus - reward and emotion processing - the amygdala - senses - parietal lobe - and reasoning and judgment - the prefrontal cortex."

Looking at the other side of the babies versus birth control problem, the Mail's article found that women on hormonal contraception tend to be more jealous and possessive. A new study has shown, moreover, that those "taking the brands with the most [estrogen] may even find their hormone-driven suspicions place their relationships in jeopardy . . ." Previous studies have shown that drugs can also change a woman's taste in men, including suppressing their interest in more masculine men and even affecting their sense of smell. Not sounding good for the health of long term sexual relationships, is it?

Dr. Roberts, one of the study's authors, has said, "it seems that women, and perhaps pharmaceutical providers, are not fully aware of the range of potential psychological side-effects associated with pill use . . ."

Do ya think?

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