mating

Will you semimarry me?

The function of marriage in modern society is being closely reexamined now, as people wait longer to tie the knot, household gender dynamics tip toward more female breadwinners and a rising proportion of babies are born beyond the bounds of wedlock. This marital shakeup has given rise to the "semimarriage," writes Pamela Haag in her book "Marriage Confidential".

We know that smell is one of the most emotionally powerful senses, triggering vivid memories from even a wisp of a waft. On Stuff Mom Never Told You, Molly and I have discussed how people unconsciously "sniff out" biologically suitable mates with complementary gene pools. A 2009 psychology study from Rice University adds another compelling note to this complex perfume of humans' conscious and unconscious smell responses.

It's evolutionary biology meets "Dancing with the Stars". Researchers at Northumbria University in England studied how heterosexual women responded to male dance moves and which they found most attractive. Based on the study, it's all about midsection motion rather than fancy footwork that sets hearts aflame on the dance floor.

Last week on Stuff Mom Never Told You, Molly and I discussed the plot-driving question of When Harry Met Sally: can men and women really be friends? Of course, we'd all like to think that the answer is clearly yes, but when we started researching the topic, anecdotal and empirical evidence always circled back around to sex (this also assuming a friendship between heterosexual men and women). While opposite sex friendships (OSFs) are common and possible, sexual attraction tends to muddy the waters at some point.