Wednesday, 23 November 2016

A parasite is a culprit in sadomasochistic longings


Sadomasochism has long intrigued psychologists, who have proposed a variety of theories to explain why some people are sexually attracted to pain or humiliation. Included among them: a desire for power, stress relief or the rush of endorphin release. A new study explores a different possibility — that some people might develop a preference for sadomasochism after becoming infected with a common parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. Infection with the single-celled microbe is known to make rodents less fearful of — and even attracted to — cats, where the parasite needs to land in order to reproduce. And while the new study found only a small effect of toxoplasmosis on sexual preferences, primarily in men, the findings draw attention to emerging, if conflicting evidence about how a prevalent parasite affects human health and behavior, says lead author Jaroslav Flegr, an evolutionary biologist at Charles University in Prague.

The lead author of the study, which appeared in the August  issue of  the journal Evolutionary Psychology,   is an evolutionary biologist at Charles University in Prague.  Readers will recall that Mars and Saturn formed an exact conjunction on August 24 with both also square Neptune.  A chart for the conjunction has it placed very significantly, square the meridian at Prague.

Mars is our inner warrior. If we have a healthy Mars, we are able to assert ourselves in relationships, speak up in order to persuade others, and take action to achieve our goals. Saturn is the authority figure  in our lives. In its negative expression,  Mars-Saturn can give rise to the tendency  to give up the independence of one’s  own individual self and to fuse one’s self with a stronger person in order to acquire the strength one feels one is lacking. A distinct form of this mechanism  is found in the striving for submission or domination, or, in masochistic and sadistic strivings.

In his book The Combination of Stellar Influences, Ebertin explains that  when Neptune combines with Mars-Saturn, the weakening of will-power  (Mars-Saturn) can be the result of an infection (Neptune).

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