This is your brain on love: The Science of Love Quiz

By: Cristen Conger

This is your brain on love: The Science of Love Quiz
Image: RapidEye/iStock

About This Quiz

Forget about hearts and flowers and poetry. Love is all in your head -- your brain actually. So let's strip out the romance and get down to the neurochemicals and physiology that release a swarm of butterflies when encountering a new crush.
How many sperm will make it all the way to a woman's egg?
A few dozen
Although the average ejaculate contains about 150 million sperm, only a few dozen will complete the arduous journey all the way to the egg.
1,000
150 million

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What percentage of adult women have never experienced an orgasm?
15 percent
Between 10 and 15 percent of adult women report anorgasmia, or never having an orgasm.
25 percent
45 percent

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The gene variation allele 334 is linked to what behavior?
inability to have an orgasm
infidelity
A 2008 headline-sparking genetic investigation out of Sweden identified allele 334, a genetic variation associated with male infidelity. Allele 334 interferes with the brain’s processing of vasopressin, a neurochemical associated with monogamous pair bonding.
bisexuality

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What percent of men have a favorable view of vibrators in the bedroom?
30 percent
50 percent
70 percent
A 2011 survey from Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion found that 70 percent of men welcome sex toy assistance in the bedroom.

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People exchange what arousal-stimulating hormone when they kiss?
oxytocin
dopamine
testosterone
Locking lips with a fellow is like taking a testosterone pill, since guys pass it along in their spit.

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Which of the following neurochemicals isn't as active during early phases of romance?
dopamine
serotonin
During the early attachment phase of love, serotonin takes a back seat, residing at low levels, while other reward-regulating chemicals take over. As a result of that serotonin dampening, people become borderline obsessed with their beloveds, unable to focus or eat whenever apart.
oxytocin

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The clitoris contains how many nerve endings?
500
2,000
8,000
The clitoris is an incredibly sensitive sex organ, and its external hooded glans is packed with 8,000 nerve endings.

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Which bonding chemical is released in the female brain during an orgasm?
estrogen
oxytocin
Oxytocin is especially potent in the female body, washing over the brain during a climax as well as after childbirth, bonding mother and baby.
vasopressin

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What percentage of mammals practices monogomy?
3 percent
Only 3 to 5 percent of mammalian species practice lifelong social monogamy, sticking to the same pair bond for the life term.
10 percent
30 percent

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Who typically says "I love you" first?
women
men
A 2011 study conducted at Pennsylvania State University found that male college students were more likely to fall in love and drop the magic three words sooner than their female co-eds.
Neither. Men and women initiate "I love you" equally.

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True or false: Most adulterous men didn't anticipate cheating on their partners.
true
Approximately two-thirds of adulterous men didn't think they would ever cheat on their partners. Women, on the other hand, tend to anticipate their cheating behavior before it happens.
false

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Which of the following is NOT a physical sign of attraction?
flushed cheeks
sweating palms
constricted pupils
People's pupils dilate rather than constrict when they're looking at someone who rings their bell. Moreover, heterosexual men find women with wider pupils more feminine and attractive.

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According to a 1996 study from Pennsylvania State University, women expect to wait how many dates before having sex with a new partner?
4
8
12
The female study sample reported 12 dates as the appropriate amount of time to wait before having sex, compared to men who preferred to sleep over after eight dates.

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Approximately what percent of the population is asexual?
1.5 percent
Based on 1994 survey data from British households, about 1.5 percent of people have never felt sexual attraction to men or women.
5 percent
11 percent

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True or false: Men think about sex every 7 seconds.
true
false
Most men apparently have better things to do than think about sex every 7 seconds. For instance, a study published in 1990 in the Archives of Sexual Behavior asked 49 male college students to tally up their sexual fantasies over a week, and the results averaged to just 7.5 sexy thoughts per day, which works out to once every 3.2 hours.

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What chemical is responsible for making our hearts race when we see someone who tickles our fancy?
dopamine
norepinephrine
During early-stage romantic love -- scientific terminology for the honeymoon phase -- the brain releases norepinephrine whenever we’re around a love interest, amping our heart rate and shaking us into action.
adrenaline

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True or false: Men with lower voices have more viable sperm.
true
false
A recent Australian study at last debunked the popular correlation between sperm quality and vocal tone.

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Female ovulation is associated with which of the following?
a drop in vocal pitch
wearing less makeup
infidelity
Women's peak fertility can result in a range of interesting behaviors, including shopping for new outfits and wearing more makeup. One study also found that ovulating women are more likely to cheat on their current partners.

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Which sense might give women the most accurate assessment of a man's genetic fitness?
sight
smell
Of course, heterosexual women want handsome hunks by their sides, but the nose might know better than the eyes. Research has found that the female body innately "sniffs" out a man's genetic compatibility, and those with the most pleasing musk are better candidates for having healthier offspring.
taste

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What chemical is often implicated in satisfying, long-term marriages?
dopamine
Although oxytocin and vasopressin initially establish the romantic bond between two people, dopamine is what refreshes the romance as the years wear on. Brain scan studies of happily married couples have demonstrated how their dopamine reward system lights up in response to merely seeing a picture of their 'til-death beloved.
oxytocin
vasopressin

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You Got:
/20
RapidEye/iStock

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