Behavioral scientists at the University of Rochester, in conjunction with a company based in Israel, recently completed an interesting study on sexuality.

The big question: How powerful are one-night stands compared to relationships that evolve more gradually in determining longevity for a couple? The conclusion: immediate sexual desire plays a big role in lasting attachments. In other words, sex leads to deeper emotional bonding, and it's the same for both genders. The study, limited to heterosexuals, was conducted in four separate parts.

  • Part 1 involved two participants lip-synching to pre-recorded music and proved synchronization between participants.
  • Part 2 used slow-dancing between couples, and findings correlated to the first part of the study.
  • Part 3 featured an erotic image showed on a screen for just 30 milliseconds--so fast that participants were not aware of it. Scientists found that subliminal sexual attraction was also linked to caring about a potential partner’s well-being—which indicates interest in a relationship, not just sex.
  • Part 4 featured a sexy scene from the movie The Boy Next Door, a 2015 bomb starring Jennifer Lopez, and also a neutral images of rainforests in South America. The researchers found that participants watching the erotic movie scene were more caring and quicker to help partners than the neutral video control group.

Earlier research on sections of the brain--the caudate, insula, and putamen--reinforced the conclusions of this study that sexual desire between strangers may engender long-term bonding.