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curiosity

July 2017

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Fight, Flight, Freeze, Faint, or F#&k

The understanding of adrenaline has changed recently. When I was young we were taught that adrenaline was responsible for a "fight or flight" response. But recently people have noticed that "freeze" and "faint" are also adrenaline responses. The freeze and faint responses might have evolutionary value in protecting young animals from predators. If you have ever tried to get a baby to stop crying you will understand the value of having a child freeze or faint in the presence of a predator. This effect is more common in juveniles and tends to fade away in adulthood.

That arousal is also an adrenal response seems obvious but I haven't seen it talked about as much. There is a reason that getting "excited" has sexual connotations. It is well known that some people become sexually aroused by danger. I remember watching a TV show about human sexuality where they said that not only are the winners of sporting events more likely to have sex afterward, but the fans of the winning team are more likely to have sex afterward. All that adrenaline has to go somewhere.

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People who work in emergency services understand the "fuck" aspect of it all too well. I worked in that field for ten years, and believe me, it's part of why cops can't stay married for long unless they're married to other cops who understand.