Hormonal Reactions & Influences - part 3
How chemical reactions affect us
Genetic influences and other hormones
It's slowly becoming apparent that at least part of our sexual preferences are genetically encoded. Proof for this is found in the fact that certain genetic information is encoded in the DNA of homosexual men and is unavailable in heterosexual men. There's some very early research available on this subject, although a lot still has be researched further before any real answers will emerge.
It's obvious however, that at least some keys can be found in genes known as "BRCA1" and "BRCA2." Both these DNA strings however are currently best known for the fact that they seem to have an influence on breast cancer. Hence the entire research in this field is focussed on this aspect. "BRCA1" is the string that is found in homosexual men but not in heterosexual men, so obviously at least part of the preferential information is in there. Several other bits and pieces of genetic information, including the development of certain power related elements, can be found in other DNA strings. How all this ties in together however is yet unclear.
Very new information is the following: Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), having a highly conserved structure across mammalian species, plays a pivotal role in the control of the neuroendocrine events and the inherent sexual behaviors essential for reproductive function. Recent advances in molecular genetic technology have contributed greatly to the investigation of several aspects of GnRH physiology, particularly steroid hormone and neurotransmitter regulation of GnRH gene expression. Behavioral studies have focused on the actions of GnRH in steroid-sensitive brain regions to understand better its role in the facilitation of mating behavior.
To say it in simple terms, next to adrenaline and endorphins, there's a third group of hormones that not only has a direct influence on our behavior, but these also seem to "read" and "interpret" genetic information.
Just like endorphins, GnRH are produced in the human brain. To be exact in the hypothalamus. The nextdoor neighbor of this part of the brain is the thalamus (the "pain gate") which is controlled by the release of endorphins. Since there seems to be an interaction between these two neighboring parts of the brain, it seems there's a connection here. Thalamus and hypothalamus together form the part of the brain called diencephalon - in simple terms the "switchboard" between the brain and the nervous system. The nervous system is constantly transmitting millions of signals to the brain. The vast majority of these are normal and do not need the attention of the consciousness. The diencephalon (in computer terms call that a co-processor or background processor since it improves the efficiency of the brain/mainframe) makes these decisions and operates much along the lines of "management by exception." In other words the brain isn't pro-active but re-active in this area and will simply wait for an acute signal (of danger, pain, stress, humiliation, discomfort, cold, anything) to start operating and responding. Whenever such a situation occurs, the pituitary gland, in response to the stimulus, secretes a hormone called adrenocortocotropin (ACTH). This in turn stimulates the adrenal medulla gland to secrete norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and epinephrine (adrenaline). That will stimulate the production of endorphins which in their turn are both produced by and control the function of the diencephalon, in other words both hypothalamus and thalamus. So since the hypothalamus produces GnRH, here is where the connection is.
Gonadotropin by itself is also a hormone. It's responsible for all sorts of secondary sex characteristics, including the swelling of the penis, hardening of the nipples, and also the difference in pitch between the male and female voice. This hormone also controls the female cycle and two other emotions that tie in directly with EPE-behavior: protectiveness towards the partner and territorial defense.
Last but certainly not least the release of gonadotropin triggers the production of steroid hormones (among others the male sex hormone testosterone and the female counterpart estrogen). To keep it plain and simple and very unscientific - there appears to be a direct links between endorphins (a.k.a. "emotion amino acids") and the production of steroid hormones. Since we know some of the endorphins trigger direct EPE related emotions such as responses to pain, humiliation, uncertainty, love and affection, there seems to be a direct hormonal link between these emotions and sexual arousal. Why this happens to some people and not to others is probably the question that will eventually be found somewhere in the DNA-encoding.
A related article is available on another page. You can use
Based on materials from the POWERotics Foundation