In February of 2011, Lazar Greenfield, the due president of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), authored a Valentine’s Day article on mating in Surgery News. In the article, Greenfield wrote about the sexual habits of a few different animals before going on to reference semen as a better gift for Valentine’s Day than chocolate.
Many ACS members were outraged at what they deemed sexist statements by Greenfield. In light of the controversy Greenfield resigned his post as editor of Surgery News and from the University of Michigan. Greenfield commented on his article in the Detroit Free Press, saying, "The editorial was a review of what I thought was some fascinating new findings related to semen, and the way in which nature is trying to promote a stronger bond between men and women."
Gordon Gallup Jr., a psychologist at SUNY-Albany and lead author of the study, noted that semen evolved to aid males in the reproductive process, "If you begin to think about semen in those terms, then the fact that semen might have antidepressant properties becomes a lot more interesting in that it may promote bonding between the female and her sexual partner." This bonding relationship allows a male to form a close partnership with a reproductive partner and allows him to sexually reproduce more frequently.
Estrogen and prostaglandins have both been found in semen and are linked to lower depression levels. Oxytocin is also found in semen and it has been connected to higher levels of social bonding.
Gallup thinks that the medicinal effects of semen are the underlying motivator behind some women’s desire to have sex, "I think there's reason to believe based on some of the evidence we've collected that females that are in committed relationships that are having unprotected sex may use sex in part to self-medicate." Gallup also notes that, remarkably, it may be possible for some women to experience semen withdrawal.
POPSCI Photo by : shanon wise