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Endocrinology of Social Relationships Lab Group

An exploration of the hormones associated with our social lives.
led by Dr. Kathryn Demps and Dr. Kristin Snopkowski

Why does it feel good to be around friends?  What does the hormonal profile of romantic love look like?  How and why do some fathers experience mimic pregnancies?   What affects whether a mother would neglect her child or commit infanticide?

We will be exploring the physiological mechanisms and explanations for human behavior in social contexts.  Drs. Demps and Snopkowski specialize in evolutionary explanations of patterns of human behavior, most of which are contingent on mechanisms such as hormones.  This seminar will delve into those proximate mechanisms to understand how responses might have been shaped by our evolutionary history and might still be shaped by our experiences growing up and the culture we currently live in.

Each week we will read and discuss a chapter from the book Endocrinology of Social Relationships that has been described as “an impressive array of contributors who each provide a unique and thorough examination of the subtle yet powerful interplay between hormones and behavior within the context of evolutionary theory” (Richard Bribiescas).  Chapters look at fathering, sex differences, mate preferences, maternal care, and sexual orientation.

Our goal for the seminar will be to use this information to outline a program of research to take place about the endocrinology of social relationships.

The lab is ongoing. Register for ANTH 479-003 Undergraduate Research to receive an upper-division anthropology elective credit that can be repeated. One credit hour equals 45 hours per semester, including readings and weekly meetings. For more information contact Dr. Kathryn Demps at (208) 426-4690, or Kristin Snopkowski at (208) 426-3055,