Simple Biology

by Lori Dwyer on March 20, 2012 · 17 comments

Everything is simple biology.

Finding someone– falling in love– is nothing more than a primal urge to reproduce. Women are driven to find men powered by underlying testosterone- tall, dark and strong, for reasons of producing healthy, virile offspring. Men find large eyes, large breasts, full lips and curvy hips in the opposite sex appealing- all indicators of youth and fertility, the ability to bear many children.

Life makes so much more sense when you break it down to biological urges. Loving the people you bring into the world is no more than biology– if you didn’t have that amazing rush of oxytocin, you wouldn’t fall so desperately in love with your baby; and you may just be tempted to eat them instead of breast feeding them at some point in the early hours of your fifth sleepless night. Other species, untainted by moral considerations and legal ramifications, have been known to do just that when that hormonal rush fails and there are parental instincts go awry.

Of all human relationships, it’s the bond between mothers and children that is powered the most by simple biological reflexes, ingrained urges that are difficult to ignore. The cry of a newborn baby exerts an attention-pulling hormone rush in woman for years after they’ve had babies of their own, and is enough to cause a spontaneous letdown in woman who are lactating. All women, whether they have had children or not, wake far more quickly to nigh pitched noises than to low pitched tones; all females, without even realising it, raise their voices by an octave or so when in the presence of small children, to accommodate for the high range of hearing tiny babies have.

When your children reach the age of about 30 months, most parents, mothers in particular, begin to feel an almost irrational irritation with their behavior. It’s the ‘terrible two’s’, and the guilt that comes from wanting to be nowhere near your own children is not something we discuss in any depth, except to acknowledge that two year old’s are, in fact, all of kinds of disgusting.

I know I’m currently feeling not-so-awesome about the fact that my daughter is currently annoying the living patience right out of me. And I bet a lot of you know what I’m talking about. Here’s the good news– it’s not our fault. It’s just that simple biology. At somewhere between the ages of two and three, instinct pushes you to begin to separate yourself from your child– because, biologically, they need to learn some independence, to think for themselves, to survive in a cruel world without such close, constant supervision. And at some point their biology lines up with yours, and instinct prevents them from wandering too far from your side.

I mentioned a while back, some Native American women cut their hair once they become widows, and are only allowed to remarry once it regrows. If you think about it, it’s a logical safeguard to fertility.

People are fascinating creatures.

Men in groups bleed testosterone into the air. Their voices drop, their shoulders lift and their chests come forward; aggression is a natural consequence. Sometimes I think the most primal things we have left are sex and fighting.

Women who live together find their moods and menstruation settle into a similar pattern, all of their body cycles aligning with the cycle of the alpha-female.

Our hair and fingernails grow faster when we feel appreciated. Physiological stress can manifest itself into cancer. Mental health facilities report a greater intake of schizophrenics during a full moon. Owning a cat or a dog reduces the risk of having a heart attack.

Bodies are impressive things, and we seem to sync them to our Earth without even realising it’s happening.

Simple biology is a complex, amazing thing.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Good source for Reverse Phone Lookup information April 13, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I can see that you are a professional when it comes to the things you write about!Thanks for all of your sharing spirit and I wish you all the success in your endeavors.


Anonymous April 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Oh Lori, you silly girl you ;)

Either people chose not read between the lines or they missed your analogy and the one analogy you left out ;))

People also get horny at the same time. I noticed that your story seemed a little more up beat / cheeky. Props ;)



Something Gorgeous March 22, 2012 at 8:25 am

What an interesting post, such common sense. Do you have any sensible explanations for teenage behaviour you could share?


Darnie March 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

Great post Lori..and i love the info from invivamus about the increase in facial hair in oil rig workers about to go on leave… at 62, perhaps anticipation at seeing hubby at close of day is the reason for my post menopausal facial fuzz. Cherish the youth hormones and biology!!! xx


searching March 21, 2012 at 5:47 am

I wish more people understood this!! Great topic thanks for sharing.

I always find that when my child is around two years old my "nice" hormones wear off!! My Husband can tell too….I have less patience all around. LOL


In Real Life March 21, 2012 at 4:19 am

This is such an interesting topic, and so fascinating to think about!


Melissa March 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Ugh my 2.5 year old is definitely separating from me right now, I know just how you feel…
Our bodies are so much smarter than we give them credit for – it's our minds that get us in trouble :)


Dorothy Krajewski March 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Lucky I have two cats. May avoid that heart attack that my two kids keep threatening to cause me… :)


invivamus March 20, 2012 at 9:27 pm

You might like this: Many years ago, a study was conducted on North Sra oil rig workers. They found that the men who were due to go on leave, and had partners, had a 25% increase in the speed of growth of their facial hair than single men.
And now I know why I've remembered this factoid for so many years. Finally, someone who might find it interesting ;)


Lirio Jaguar March 20, 2012 at 9:22 pm

I see what you mean and can apply it to my 5 and 3/4 yo – I've been really thinking about where that intensity of feeling has gone and working hard to reclaim it. I'll still do that, and this account you've posted makes more sense of why it has happened. T-Girl, who's not much younger than yours, is still subject to much gazing, wonderment and gushing, and when we hit our own stage of distance I won't be as alarmed, I don't think :)


Melissa March 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Do you know,I actually have the opposite reaction to my children. I try so hard, but find it difficult to be properly bonded in the first 2 years. I love them, but it is nothing like the ferocity of my love between the ages of 2 and 6. Can't get enough of Sam, and he of me. He's 4 and a half and we have become utterly inseparable.

Odd. I think that most people do experience that around the 2 year mark..ready to let them grow up a little. My SIL is worse. She gets impoatient at the 3 month mark (!) and starts thinking about having a newborn again.

Boggles the mind. Newborns terrify me.


Mum on the Run March 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm

It certainly is.
I could read about this all day, Lori.
And thank you for reinforcing what a superb human specimen I must be – that instinct to distance myself from the screaming, wailing, irrational mess on the floor was in full effect!!!
:-) xx


Miss Pink March 20, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Sometimes I think that life being so simple is what makes it so complicated.
Great post! I think you've hit the nail on the head here.


connieemeraldeyes March 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm

You look good in short hair. I just watched a girl do her short hair and I think that style would look cute on you with blond highlights.;=related
It is short like yours but a little bit longer in the front.


Anonymous March 20, 2012 at 11:33 am

Wow,what an excellent post Lori.
I really needed to read the stuff about the instinctual urge to push your child away slightly around the age of 3 because I feel the same thing happening with my youngest boy (3) and was wondering where all my nurturing (mollycoddling?)empathy was disappearing to.


Suzi March 20, 2012 at 11:11 am

Yes, it's amazing isn't it! Ah the terrible two's, glad I can blame my feelings and slightly twitchy eye on nature ;)


Debyl1 March 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

Really interesting post.Great way of looking at life.Guess its like when my teenage daughter drives me insane.It is mother nature…the coming of independence,learning to survive in the cruel world.Sooo true it is hard out there.Thankyou as I will now stop blaming myself (oh where did I go wrong).. as I am pulling out my hair in frustration :)


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