It’s not the case just for men, as a full stomach leads to an open heart for women as well, so the “wine & dine” cliché is actually quite important in pursuing romance. A new, albeit, limited study has uncovered that young women are more susceptible to romantic gestures if their appetite for food has been well satisfied first.
The psychology study at the University of California, in San Diego, has seen to 20 participants, all women between the ages of 18 to 25, of normal weight, but with different experiences in terms of dieting. Whether they had been on a diet once in their life, or the fortunate ones who never needed a food restrictive program, it made quite the bit of difference.
After they fasted for around 8 hours, all participants were taken to an MRI (magnetic resonance imagining) machine and their brain activity was carefully followed while they were shown a variety of images. They ranged from the dull and meaningless bowling ball or pictures of staplers, to images of loving couples, holding hands or embracing.
The same women were then given a high-calorie shake, filled with nutritional value and proteins, before they were scanned again. Similar images were shown, but the brain activity was quite different. It resulted in the conclusion that women were more open and enthusiastic to the romantic images once their hunger was satiated.
So, food before romance. It seems like quite a plausible explanation.
In fact, the activity seemed more arduous in the brain region associated with rewards. Furthermore, according to lead author of the study, Alice Ely, women who had a history of dieting were even more responsive in the region not just associated with rewards, but with attractiveness as well when they were no longer hungry.
There is a possibility that there is a stronger link from eating to sex than thought before, though the study has been admittedly quite limited, considering the relatively small number of participants. The images shown were quite innocent and proved a more enthusiastic response from women to romance, so a definite connection could not be made between a full stomach and sexual desire.
However, it has shown that women are much more likely to react to romantic gestures after mealtime, especially for those who have been known to restrict themselves to a diet at least once during their life. It could be that food then becomes perceived as a rewarding gesture, but there are still far more factors to be considered before trying to engage her in courting.
Food, however, is a good start.
Image source: express.co.uk