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New book written by two leading ethicists explores recent medical advances that have brought chemical control of our relationships within our grasp.
Imagine a world in which we can control love and sex through medicine. What would this place look like? And would we all be better off?
Relationships are often seen as the cause of unhappiness and anxiety for many, with potentially devastating consequences for all those involved. What if relationships could be improved through ‘love drugs’?
Drugs to get over shyness and improve intimacy. Drugs to heighten empathy and enjoyment of your partner. Drugs to make you a better lover. What about drugs that help resolve marital discord and stop relationships from breaking down or promoting sexual fidelity by suppressing the wandering eye in a partner who feels their sex drive is not being reciprocated.
If good relationships are as important for good health and well-being as we are led to believe – not only for individuals but also society – what is the harm is using medicine to correctly direct love and sex?
There is also the potential of ‘anti-love drugs’ to suppress more deviant sexual drives by dampening the libido. Could drugs end addiction to internet porn or quell intrusive erotic fantasies that are common with psychiatric disorders like erotomania and paedophilia? If yes, surely this is a good thing. The same would go for drugs that suppress jealousy before it turns into domestic violence, and drugs that help break the attachment of the abused victim to their abuser.
Publishing for Valentine’s Day 2020, Love Is the Drug: The Chemical Future of Our Relationships explains how this is all possible. How advances in neurochemistry are revealing to us the biological underpinnings of love and how medical interventions can dramatically alter the experience of love between individuals.
In addition to showing ‘love drugs’ at work, the book, written by two leading ethicists, explores a number of ethical questions that arise when we start discussing ‘love drugs’, such as
- If society is trying the refashion love and sexuality, then for what purpose?
- Are we naturally monogamous?
- Is controlling love an infringement of our human rights.
There are many who see drug-assisted romance as abhorrent. They argue that bringing medicine into the equation pathologises love. That pulling back the curtain and talking about hormones and neurotransmitters spoils the thrill. Yet as Love is the drug: the chemical future of our relationships makes clear, this is an area of medical research that could have profound effect on us all – and better to discuss it now than allow ‘love drugs’ to fall into the hands of unscrupulous leaders with dystopian fantasies.
Will relationships be the same in the future? Will we still marry? Will it be possible to eradicate psychiatric disorders like paedophilia?
Love Is the Drug: The Chemical Future of Our Relationships publishes just before Valentine’s Day 2020 and will appeal to anyone who has been in love, grappled with its complexities and ended up heartbroken.
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