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Posts Tagged ‘bonding’

I could always count on the questions.  After each presentation on purity, girls — often shy, sometimes bold — would ask questions.  About boys.  Themselves.  Relationships.  Love.  Mothers brought their daughters to these events, but often stayed in the background.

Mothers were also in the audiences of the “lifestyle show” Judy Hayen and I took on the road.  The event, titled “Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up,” gave opportunity to address the consequences of “sexy” dress, casual attitudes about intimacy, and risky behaviors.  Clothing is fun.  But, whose idea is it?  Why does the Designer of clothing say we need more than fig leaves?  Why shouldn’t a boys hand go under a girls clothes?  The “lifestyle” show concluded with the perfect dress: the white wedding dress and why we wait to wear it.  It wasn’t the girls but the mothers who had tears in their eyes.  I know, I know.  Wedding dresses bring tears of joy to many moms.  But, I believe I also saw tears of disappointment and regret.  I know the statistics.  Too many don’t wait to wear the white wedding dress because oxytocin, not necessarily love, makes us warm and tingly.

Dozens of women have shared their abortion choices with me.  These choices were made after a touch.  A kiss.  Then the procreative act.   Oxytocin flipped the love circuit in their female brain.  There is trust.   A bond.  But physical contact and the oxytocin response it generates can blind women to a bad relationships.  These women, years after their abortions, explain to me tears of  failure.  Psychological trauma.  Heartache.  Loss.  Spiritual grief.

What were women who became mothers — of living or dead children — told about oxytocin?  What choices did they make because they weren’t told?  What were the consequences?  Is there a reason to keep from our daughters and granddaughters knowledge about their bodies?  How they are designed to function?  And why?

We are not captive to mistakes of the past.  They are forgiven because of Jesus Christ.  His death and resurrection are victory over every sin.  All we need to do is be sorry for our sins and confess them to God.  Then, in Christ, we are set free.  We are new every morning.  In Christ, we have the hope of better choices.  This hope is for daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and a neighborhood of girls.

God made oxytocin because He loves life.  He created one man to bond with one woman in marriage for life.  He joins with husband and wife in the procreational act of sex to bring new life.  He entrusts each new boy or girl to the nurture and instruction of their mom and dad.  With all of this, there is a future. There is hope.

Seems to me all ezerwomen should be talking about this.

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Maura is “hooked,” but she has faith in the Savior of her life.  His Word is real to her.  It will speak to her conscience.  Maura also has a friend who will be honest with her and always remind her why setting boundaries and guarding body, mind and soul is healthy and hopeful.

But, Nichole has faith in the things of the world.  She doesn’t have a friend who will be honest with her.  She, too, is “hooked,” but doesn’t realize it.   Nichole, like Maura and most every other young (or older) woman, doesn’t know about neurochemicals.

Oxytocin is a neurochemical.  It is present in both male and female, but is primarily active in females.  The female body releases oxytocin at four different times.  Take note!  Each has to do with procreation and the care of children.  Oxytocin is released:

  • During meaningful or intimate touching with another person (Action: bonding and trust)
  • During sexual intercourse (Action: bonding and trust)
  • During the onset of labor in a pregnant woman (Action: causes uterine contractions, results in birth)
  • After baby’s delivery (Action: stimulates nipples and produces flow of milk from mom for nursing)

How does the human race continue?  God said that husband and wife would become “one flesh.”  Sexual intimacy results not only in the bonding of two people, but in procreation.  Oxytocin plays a vital role in the continuation of the human race.  With sexual touch, the woman’s brain is flooded with oxytocin.  She wants to be with the man she has bonded to.  Long-term connectedness often results in healthy male-female relationships.  It is actually rare for an American woman in an intact marriage to have sexual intercourse with anyone except her husband.  Such stability is affected by oxytocin.  Think of the significance.  The bonding of father and mother greatly increases the chance for a child to be raised in a healthy, two-parent home.  Such a child is blessed, not necessarily with a perfect home (do they exist?), but with a hopeful environment for becoming all God desires them to be.

The world speaks about the emotions of love.  The emotions of connectedness.  In reality, the desire to connect is more than an emotional feeling.  Bonding is like glue.  And it can’t be undone or ripped apart without great emotional pain.

Whether Maura or Nichole realize it, they are “hooked” to the men with whom they are sexually intimate.  The flow of oxytocin serves to promote trust.  Oxytocin will trigger the bonding process even if a girl hasn’t “gone all the way,” but has kissed and hugged a boy.  For this reason, if he wants to “do more,” it will become increasingly difficult for her to say “no.”  Parents!  Do you know this?  When you allow your thirteen-year-old daughter to spend long periods of time with a boy, you are placing her in serious jeopardy.  Her protective boundary of modesty and inhibition will gradually break down with each kiss, each touch, each pledge of love… even though the boy she’s with has no intention of marrying her or having children with her.

Maura’s confession to me said it all.  “. . . It’s so very strange.  The more time I spend with my boyfriend, the more I need to be with him.”  Does Nichole find herself in the same circumstance?  Before a well-meaning counselor, Planned Parenthood clinic, or parent gets her on The Pill (or whatever), do they tell her about oxytocin?  Do they explain that she’s going to be “hooked” because neurochemicals are doing what they’re supposed to do?

The cruelty is this.  Our culture removes all the boundaries.  It encourages sexual activity among boys and girls.  Then it washes its hands by saying, “We explained how to do this safely.”  But, who turns off the oxytocin?  Maura has difficulty breaking with the boyfriend who isn’t good for her because she has bonded with him.  Nichole has been in several intimate relationships.  She has “hooked up.”  Has “friends with benefits.”  All seems so casual.  So harmless.  So sophisticated.  But, oxytocin is at work.  Every time that Nichole and her “friend” break up and she moves on to a new sexual partner, a bond is being broken.  This is emotional.  Painful.  Sometimes paralyzing.

In truth, being sexually intimate with one person, breaking up, and being sexually intimate with another is like a divorce.  Repeating this cycle again and again places a girl in danger of negative emotional consequences.  Nichole doesn’t realize it, but she is acting against — actually fighting — her own body and the way she was designed to function.  Eventually, damage is done to her brain’s natural connecting or bonding mechanism.

Sexual intimacy, as Maura has discovered, is addictive.  But, she has the hope for change in God’s Word and the honesty of a friend.  What does Nichole have?  Who will speak on her behalf?  Who will guard her body?  Mind?  Soul?

(Source: Hooked: New Science on How Casual Sex is Affecting our Children  by Joe S. McIlhaney, Jr., M.D., and Freda McKissic Bush, M.D.)

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