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article imageStudy shows how to tell if that man in your life has caring genes

By JohnThomas Didymus     Nov 15, 2011 in Lifestyle
Toronto - This information is strictly for ladies. A new study explains how to sort the jerks from the gentlemen. Studies in the past have shown that women fare better in relationships with caring men, but how can a lady tell if the man proposing is a caring man?
Researchers advice ladies, in a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, to find opportunity, during conversation, to begin pouring out their troubles. Don't worry about the quality of advice he gives, look out instead, very carefully, for his reactions, how he looks, the expressions on his face, while you tell your woe story. You will soon know if he carries a gene for empathy or a gene for selfishness by studying his facial responses.
The Daily Mail reports scientists from the U.S. and Canada have studied 23 volunteer males as they listened to their partners telling stories of difficult moments they have had in the past. The recorded videos of the men's facial expressions and related reactions were then shown to total strangers for 20 seconds who were asked to rate the men on how kind, caring, sympathetic and considerate they seemed to be.
The subjects had previously been administered genetic tests to determine the type of oxytocin receptor gene they carried. There are two types of oxytocin receptor genes. The G type is linked to caring behavior and the A type is linked to poor social skills and selfishness. A person could be AA, GG or AG, that is, carrying a combination of the two receptor types.
Researchers found that out of 10 subjects strangers rated as most "caring," six had GG genotypes and of 10 rated "not caring," nine had AA or AG genotype. The results, in other words, show that men who were rated highest by the viewing strangers tended to have a gene associated with relatively high levels of oxytocin, a hormone researchers have dubbed the "caring or love hormone." The result implies that humans may have inborn capability to detect the genotype of an individual after brief observation.
Researchers believe that body levels of oxytocin are linked to sensitivity, empathy and caring. The G receptor gene is associated with high levels of oxytocin. Oxytocin, in turn, is linked to nurturing behavior, especially in mother-child bonding in humans and animals. Oxytocin is synthesized in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus.
Men who nod, smile and appear sympathetic when another person tells them their worries are more likely to have the "love gene" than men who do not. Men with the "caring gene," scientists say, are kind, considerate and empathic.
Aleksandr Kogan, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, according to Huffington Post, said:
"The oxytocin receptor gene in particular has become of great interest because a select number of studies suggest that it is related to how prosocial people view themselves...Our study asked the question of whether these differences manifest themselves in behaviors that are quickly detectable by strangers, and it turns out they did...Our findings suggest that even slight genetic variation may have tangible impact on people’s behavior, and that these behavioral differences are quickly noticed by others."
Kogan believes, however, that caution need be exercised in interpreting the results because other non-genetic factors may be involved in a man's social behavior and responses:
"...that's not to say that people who don't have the GG genotype are doomed to be unfriendly people forever. There are other factors that can affect how friendly or kind a person is, and oxytocin receptor gene is one of those factors."
Huffington Post reports Sarina Rodriguez Saturn, assistant professor of psychology at Oregon State University, said:
"It was amazing to see how the data aligned so strongly by genotype...It makes sense that a gene crucial for social processing would yield these findings; other studies have shown that people are good at judging people at a distance and first impressions really make an impact."
The researchers say correlation between caring behavior and type of oxytocin receptor gene an individual carries appears to be most pronounced in men. Other researchers have linked the A type with risk-taking behavior, stress in social situations and autism.
More research is being done in recent times to determine whether our inborn capability to assess a person from outward appearance has any correlation with genetic makeup of the person.
More about Oxytocin, caring gene, Empathy, Relationship, Men
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