Essay: How men and women feel and exhibit love

Before being able to establish whether or not there is to be a substantial difference in the logistic of how men and women feel and exhibit love; the first initial question that would have to be answered is, what actually is love? According to the Oxford English Dictionary love is defined as ‘as strong feeling of affection’ (Love, 2015) however, love; one of many attributes we all have in common, can mean different things to different people. Types of love can vary between intimate love, friendship love and even family love through a range of numerous factors, such as: biological, developmental, cognitive, evolutionary, social or even down to individual persona.
Love is a powerful force where certain factors may be more influential than others, for instance the biological aspect and the production of hormones. Discrepancy between love experiences like, unconditional love between a mother and child or passionate love between intimate couples can mean hormones may be utilized in perhaps in different volumes as well unique areas of the brain stimulated. When a person is engaged with an overwhelming feeling of love, it is know that twelve specific areas of the brain work collectively to produce and secrete particular hormones such as: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Adrenaline, Serotonin and Vasopressin. Known that men and women differ in the volume of hormones produced; men produce more Dopamine also known as the ‘pleasure’ hormones and women produce significantly more Oxytocin also known as the ‘cuddle’ hormone. Baring this in mind, these hormonal differences may exhibit a difference in how men and women feel and express their emotions of love.
An alternate factor of influential bearing would be the cognitive aspect, in relation to the variance of the individual perceptions of love. (Sternberg, 1986) proposed his triangular theory of love exploring the perceptions of love across lifespan investigating the differences in his three proposed components: passion, intimacy and commitment in association the nature of love and different kinds of relationships. Further research with a focus gender difference and which components influence different types of love reported that men displayed higher levels of passion than women and lower levels of intimacy (Sumter, 2013). With this in mind, (Schoenfeld, 2012) argues that traditional gender roles determine a difference in the perception of love and how men and women experience romantic relationship. Which could relate to the origin of the 1950’s breadwinner model, where a male’s primary focus was to provide for the family whereas, and a woman’s was to stay at home and care for the family.
Furthermore, gender is a variable that might affect perceptions of love; with the popular opinion that women generally love more than men however, there has been little research to support this theory.
Nevertheless, Research to support the notion that men may be just as likely as women to be openly affectionate, it is in fact the way that men and women express their love which is diverse. (Schoenfeld, 2012) established that while men express love by initiating sex or sharing activities together, women express love by being less assertive and more accommodating. (Formica, 2009) reports: ‘Men and women … tend to approach relationships from vastly different points of reference. It is no secret that men and women operate differently, especially in terms of emotionality.’

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