Tag Archives: science

processing thoughts on girls

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My sexuality goes through phases. Since acknowledging that I was bisexual about five years ago or so, I’ve noticed that I go through times when I feel more into women than men. That usually happens when I don’t feel as close emotionally to Chris, so I don’t explore it at all or look at it as anything more than just a passing thing. My interest is also always on a celebrity or other person who I don’t actually know, so there’s never any temptation to act on anything.

Lately though, the “gay phase” has lasted longer than usual. I’ve been confused by it. Chris and I have been very emotionally close lately, we’ve been through pretty intense counseling, worked very intentionally on communication, and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything in the romantic area of my life. What’s the deal?

Yesterday, as I was watching interviews with my latest celebrity obsession, I realized that none of my thoughts were sexual. I was honestly just daydreaming about hanging out, having tea with this person, being gal pals. Okay…so this really doesn’t have anything to do with being bisexual. This is something else.

Studies have shown women are “hard-wired” for friendship. When women become stressed, their instinct is to seek out other women because of biological factors like hormones and oxytocin. They don’t seek out men because men’s brains handle stress differently. Harvard Medical School even showed that women with a close group of female friends develop less physical impairments as they get older. Not having friends is bad for your health, and can have a similar effect on the body as smoking.

*None of this is to say that men don’t need friendships. The studies are also obviously pretty black-and-white in terms of gender, which gender is not, but I think the point is true: humans need friendships. I’m just especially interested in the girl-girl dynamic, because I’m cis, and that’s what I know and experience.*

None of this is surprising to me. When I was in counseling and struggling with my sexuality, one of my counselors suggested it was just because I didn’t have girl friends, so I had started seeing them like I did boys, as unfamiliar, and that triggered my brain to believe it was a sexual thing. I know that wasn’t what it was, but I’m sure it was part of it. I’ve always been more interested in girls than boys; most of my crushes have been girls. I’m sure some of it was sexual, and some of it was just wanting that close friendship.

I think that need for female energy and company has become especially strong because I’m pretty isolated here. I work from home. I’m building friendships from scratch. I have one close girl friend here, but one person can’t be everything, and I have a lot of close girl friends who are further away who I miss a lot. The last few attempts I’ve made to make more friends have not been successful. I think I’m discouraged. So I turn to interviews and TV and movies and music to hear female voices that I like, watch interesting women and imagine they’re talking to me. It sounds really pathetic when I write it out, but it hasn’t been a conscious thing, so there’s not much I can do about it.

Eh. This was a really personal post, and maybe no one else feels this way, but I wanted to put it out there, mostly to process. Thanks for reading.

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Disturbance in the Force

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A new study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine suggests that depression results from a disturbance in the ability of brain cells to communicate with each other. The study indicates a major shift in our understanding of how depression is caused and how it should be treated. Instead of focusing on the levels of hormone-like chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, the scientists found that the transmission of excitatory signals between cells becomes abnormal in depression.

This research is from 2013 and was definitely news to me. The first revelation was that antidepressants (most of them) don’t actually increase serotonin in the brain, they stop the brain cells from absorbing it, so the concentration of serotonin goes up. Good to know what those frustrating little pills are doing all up in my mind space.

Serotonin is the buzzword for people who have depression, but apparently increasing serotonin only makes some depressed people feel better. The article described it as being at a party where lots of people are talking, and you’re trying to have a conversation. Serotonin enables you to talk louder so the other person can hear, but it doesn’t necessarily help the other person understand what you’re saying. The article concludes by saying researchers need to figure out how to make antidepressants deal with this miscommunication issue.

And so once again, another problem is caused by a lack of good communication. Poor little brain cells. They should go to counseling.

University of Maryland Medical Center. “Depression stems from miscommunication between brain cells; Study challenges role of serotonin in depression.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130318105329.htm>.

Linked In

It’s pretty exhausting to think of profound things to say some days, so I thought I’d follow in the footsteps of one of my favorite bloggers (Sarah Bessey, author of the upcoming Jesus Feminist) and share some links of some cool things I’ve been into lately. I’m always surfin’ the web, so let’s hang five (or four, to be specific).

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How To Substitute Sugar

This is a super handy page, it gives you the ratios for different kind of sweeteners, like honey and agave nectar.

http://www.myrealfoodlife.com/part-3-how-to-substitute-sugar/

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The “Good Guy” Myth

This little essay challenges the popular “friendzone” term and the belief that girls always pick a-holes, leaving the “good guys” on the sidelines. Just how “good” are these “good guys” if they get so upset that a girl doesn’t want more than friendship from them?

http://sites.duke.edu/develledish/2012/01/30/the-good-guy-myth/

ImageTeen Creates Bio-Plastic From Banana Peels

A young scientist from Turkey finds a way to replace the petroleum-based plastic lining in electrical cables with banana peels. Whaaaaaat?

http://www.freshfruitportal.com/2013/07/02/teen-creates-bio-plastic-from-banana-peels/?country=united%20states

Image“God Bless America” and Republicans: How The Song Became An Anthem of Conservatives and the Christian Right

This one’s a bit controversial (I’m a political person, I often fuel controversy), so feel free to discuss. This essay is taken from a full book on the subject, and examines how and why this song has become more closely associated with Republicans than Democrats. I would go further and say that patriotism is very often claimed by conservatives as being “a conservative value” and it can be isolating to those who don’t agree with them, as if not being a Republican means you “hate America.” On Facebook, a huge number of patriotic fan pages are dominated by conservatives; it’s pretty difficult to find a page that isn’t so clearly biased.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/culturebox/2013/07/_god_bless_america_and_republicans_how_the_song_became_an_anthem_of_conservatives.html