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Monday, May 27
The Indiana Daily Student

academics & research

Professor discusses dynamics of attraction and lust

Humans have developed three systems of the brain no other animal has, and they all involve sex.
Lust, romantic attraction and attachment are the recipe for love, said Helen Fisher, research professor of anthropology at Rutgers University.
She discussed the dynamics in a lecture Tuesday night at the Whittenburger Auditorium as part of the  Themester 2013 lecture series titled “Connectedness: Networks in a Complex World.”
Prior to her presentation, it was announced Fisher will donate her archives to IU’s Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, which co-sponsored the event.
In ancient Greece, love was described as the “madness of the gods,” Fisher said.
“It can strike at any age, any time, and can be a wonderful and terrible feeling.”
Fisher’s research focused on analyzing the individuals we choose to love, and why.
She said mate choice is based on similarities in traits such as religion, education, social values and good looks.
She said there’s something more to it, but nobody has discovered what it is yet.
Match.com asked Fisher to figure it out.
She’s the chief scientific advisor for Chemistry.com, a division of Match.com. She drafted a survey to find an answer to their question.
Fisher said 30,000 people take the test every week.
Test takers answer questions like, “Do you want interesting friends, or loyal friends?”
“Mathematically, there’s a huge line drawn between these behaviors,” she said. “They choose their lovers in completely different ways.”
Each person surveyed was categorized into four different profiles: explorers, builders, directors and negotiators.
She said the people who “go to the same damn bar every single Friday” are often builders.
They’re the popular and detail-oriented individuals who are good at scheduling and managing people, and they like consistency, she said.
Fischer deemed Hillary Clinton and Margaret Thatcher directors, or individuals who are defined by their strong mind power. These types long for a “mind mate.”
She said the survey is available to take for free online.
There’s a good chance “friends with benefits” could get a lot more serious in their relationships, she said.
40 percent of women and 53 percent of men have friends with benefits, she said. 45 percent of those friendships will turn into a long term partnership.
But Fisher said her survey isn’t fool-proof. When she surveyed herself, she couldn’t be matched.
“I live in New York City and there’s not one man for me?” she said.
She said now is prime time for romance.
“After all my research, I think if there’s ever a time for good relationships and good marriages, it’s now.”

Follow reporter Ashley Jenkins on Twitter
@ashmorganj.

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