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Take me out? The science of love, sex and attraction

11 November 2013

Have you ever wondered what happens to your hormones when you fall in love? Where our 'standards' for a romantic relationship come from? Or why some individuals 'push your buttons' more than others, even from just looking at their face?

In this light-hearted lecture, Dr Christopher Watkins - Lecturer in Psychology at Abertay University - will explore these issues, talking about our differing preferences, and explaining what happens to our hormone levels when we see something we like.

Speaking ahead of the event, Dr Watkins said:

"Most of us know what we like, but science can enlighten us as to why certain individuals stand out and catch our eye. Where do our feelings and preferences originate from? A scientific study of mate choice and attraction acknowledges that there are predictable and measurable factors at play in our judgements of, and interactions with, potential partners.

"This lecture will explore some of the exciting research on this topic from both past and present. In doing so, I hope this lecture will stimulate thought among the audience about an important area of our lives."

The event, 'Take Me Out? The Science of Love, Sex and Attraction' will be held in Abertay University's Main Lecture Theatre, Kydd Building, Bell Street, Dundee from 6-7.15pm on Tuesday 12 November 2013. The event is free of charge and non-bookable.

Dundee Science Festival, which runs from Saturday 2 until Sunday 17 November 2013, is a city-wide celebration of science, providing fun, entertainment, inspiration and curiosity for all ages. Last year, over 14,000 people took part, with visitors enjoying events throughout Dundee, Angus, Perthshire, Fife and beyond.

Dundee Science Festival is supported by the Scottish Government, University of Dundee, Dundee City Council and EventScotland. Other supporters include Abertay University, Medical Research Council, Skills Development Scotland, Edina Trust and The Gannochy Trust.

For more information on Dundee Science Festival, and to book events, visit

Alternatively, you can contact the Dundee Science Festival team via email or phone 01382 228800.


For media enquiries please contact Claire Grainger M: 07912324264 E:


Scottish Government

The Scottish Government’s core purpose is to create a more successful country, with opportunities for everyone to flourish, through sustainable growth. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are central to this aspiration, and events such as Dundee Science Festival give local scientists a chance to tell people about the cutting edge, world-leading work they do, and the benefits and opportunities of a career in STEM.

Dundee City Council

Dundee City Council Education Department is proud to support Dundee Science Festival. Our pupils are fascinated by new discoveries and technologies. Through Curriculum for Excellence in our schools, children and young people will develop a secure understanding of important scientific concepts and a lifelong interest in science and its applications. The festival offers the opportunity to engage with a range of partners who are involved in cutting edge, world-leading work – inspiring children and young people to develop their interest and aspiration in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).


EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events, EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews. EventScotland is part of VisitScotland, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland.

The University of Dundee

The University of Dundee is proud to support and participate in Dundee Science Festival. The University is an internationally renowned institution with an ambitious agenda for transformation. Our global and local remit drives a wide-ranging programme of public engagement which makes a significant contribution to the cultural life of the city and its reputation in the world. Our staff and students are delighted to share and discuss their world-leading research and knowledge with the many thousands of visitors to the festival.

Abertay University

Abertay University hosts a number of events at Dundee Science Festival each year, on subjects ranging from psychology to exercise science. This year, as well as 'Take me Out? The Science of Love, Sex and Attraction', our academics will be out in local schools with their Contemporary Sciences Roadshow, our 'get fit in 60 seconds' research team will be explaining how high-intensity training can improve the nation's health, and we will be hosting the popular Dundee Science Eggheads event, where local school children go head-to-head with academics from the universities of Abertay, Dundee and St Andrews.

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