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article imageHormone oxytocin may keep men from straying

By Tracey Lloyd     Nov 14, 2012 in Health
Researchers have found that the hormone oxytocin may have a role to play in assisting partnered men to avoid extramarital affairs.
Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany have found that the hormone oxytocin may assist men to remain in monogamous relationships. Oxytocin is a hormone that is most commonly associated with childbirth and breastfeeding, where it encourages trust and attachment. According to Australian Custom Pharmaceuticals, oxytocin may also be of assistance in treating autism, social recognition, anxiety and mood. Levels of oxytocin in the body also increase upon entering relationships and can increase levels of trust among humans. Speaking about the study, researcher Rene Hurlemann said
“Previous animal research in prairie voles identified oxytocin as major key for monogamous fidelity in animals. Here, we provide the first evidence that oxytocin may have a similar role for humans.”
The study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that the positive benefits of oxytocin in increasing feelings of trust and attachment may improve men's ability to remain faithful to a monogamous partner. In discussing the research expectations, Rene Hurlemann said
Because oxytocin is known to increase trust in people, we expected men under the influence of the hormone to allow the female experimenter to come even closer, but the direct opposite happened.
It was found that male research subjects who were in relationship and had been administered intranasal oxytocin preferred a greater interpersonal distance than single men when approached by an attractive woman. Prior to the administration of the oxytocin, both partnered men and single men had preference for a similar interpersonal space. When single men were given oxytocin, there was no difference in the interpersonal distance when approached by an attractive woman when compared to the distance chosen prior to the administration of the oxytocin.
Could the recent scandal involving former CIA Director David Petraeus and similar scandals involving high profile partnered men have been avoided by the simple addition of a sniff of oxytocin daily? It may not be that simple. The authors of the current study into oxytocin caution that more research is needed to determine the most effective way to increase oxytocin to assist in keeping men faithful.
More about Oxytocin, Relationships, monagamy, Hormone
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