Study Guide

What's Love Got to Do with It Lyrics

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You must understand, though the touch of your hand makes my pulse react

Quick Thought

Scientific studies have confirmed that the touch of another’s hand will make your pulse react.

Deep Thought

Researchers in several fields have demonstrated that the human touch has a significant effect on the heart rate, as well as other physiological functions. The sort of touch suggested by this lyric tends to elevate the heart and breathing rate and increase the blood pressure. Sexual activity, in general, puts about the same amount of pressure on the heart as a short walk.

But more casual human contact has the opposite effect on the heart. Gentle human contact slows the heart rate and lowers blood pressure. Human touch has the same effect on animals. Studies with horses and dogs have demonstrated that petting or grooming lowers animals’ heart rates by as much as 50%.

Scientists agree that the developmental and therapeutic benefits of human touch are great. Numerous studies involving infants have confirmed that regular touch leads to more rapid physical and intellectual growth.

Opposites attract

Quick Thought

While this may be true for magnets, it isn't true for humans.

Deep Thought

We all learn in grade school that the opposite ends of a magnet attract one another while the similar ends repel one another. But in the area of romance, the idea that “opposites attract” is more of a myth than fact.

On the one hand, many people find the notion of an “opposite” partner attractive. In one survey, more than 85% of the respondents claimed to be looking for someone with opposite traits and interests. But when pressed to identify the traits that they thought most suitable in a long-term partner, people tend to list qualities and beliefs that match their own.

In other words, while we may find the notion of an “opposite” attractive, we tend to pair up with people like ourselves.

Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?

Quick Thought

The heart has been associated with love for thousands of years.

Deep Thought

Most ancient civilizations associated the heart with spiritual, emotional, and intellectual forces. The Egyptians linked the heart to the principle of truth. The Greeks identified the heart as the source of reason and intelligence. Aristotle even concluded that the heart was more important than the mind to the exercise of human intelligence; the brain, he argued served largely to cool the heart.

Ancient Jewish writers also linked the heart to humankind’s moral character. In Genesis, the first book of the Hebrew Bible, written possibly as early as the 6th century, B.C., the human heart was identified as the seat of man’s good and wicked inclinations.

Some hypothesize that the heart’s narrower association with romantic love may be just as old. The Greeks harvested a plant in North Africa several centuries before the birth of Christ that was believed to prevent pregnancy. Silphium’s seed pod was shaped like a heart, perhaps leading some to associate the heart with sex and love.

I've been thinking about my own protection

Quick Thought

Tina Turner finally took steps to protect herself from her abusive husband Ike in 1976.

Deep Thought

For roughly 20 years, Tina Turner’s husband Ike abused her. In 1976, she decided to finally do something to protect herself. She resolved to take action after enduring a somewhat curious incident: Ike forced her to eat an entire cake. 

For years, she had suffered beatings and sexual abuse, but it was this meaningless assertion of power that drove her to action.

Shortly after this, while traveling to the Los Angeles airport in a limo, Tina fought back for the first time. Later, after Ike fell asleep in the back of the car, Tina got out and walked away with only the change in her pockets. Ike tried to pursue her, but for the next several months, she hid out with friends. In 1978, she obtained the divorce that finally brought her brutal marriage to an end.

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