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Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:34 AM

Study: Oxytocin ('the Love Hormone') Makes Men in Relationships Want to Stay Away From Other Women

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/11/study-oxytocin-the-love-hormone-makes-men-in-relationships-want-to-stay-away-from-other-women/265314/



PROBLEM: Oxytocin -- a hormone released by the pituitary gland (notably during both orgasm and childbirth) -- is known to affect our behavior. It promotes bonding, sometimes to the extent of making us conformists. Researchers in Germany suspected that a dose of the so-called "love hormone" during a flirtatious encounter with a sexy stranger might cause us to draw in closer, perhaps going so far as to spark a dangerous liaison.


METHODOLOGY: The research team singled out the most attractive female among them to approach their male subjects. Each of the 57 men had been administered either oxytocin or a placebo via nasal spray prior to the encounter. The attractive researcher would stand about 24 inches away from the subject, and then move toward and away from them. The men were asked to determine when the attractive researcher was at an "ideal distance" and when she got too close, making them feel "slightly uncomfortable."

The men confirmed after the experiment was completed that the attractive researcher was, in fact, attractive.

RESULTS: Unexpectedly, the men who had received oxytocin and who were also in monogamous relationships preferred keeping a significantly greater distance between themselves and the temptress researcher -- the hormone promoted bonding with their significant other, not the stranger. They stayed an average of 4 to 6 inches further back than oxytocin-induced singletons or anyone from the placebo group.


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Reply Study: Oxytocin ('the Love Hormone') Makes Men in Relationships Want to Stay Away From Other Women (Original post)
xchrom Nov 2012 OP
redgreenandblue Nov 2012 #1
Tutonic Nov 2012 #2
Lasher Nov 2012 #3
theKed Nov 2012 #6
Igel Nov 2012 #7
EmeraldCityGrl Nov 2012 #4
marions ghost Nov 2012 #5

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:44 AM

1. Fascinating.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:26 AM

2. We've got a hole in the ozone layer. Unexplained Teutonic plate shifts in

Southeast Asia and reduction of bee colonies in North America. I'm thinking that the Love Bug science group could probably spend their research dollars more wisely. Just sayin.

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Response to Tutonic (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:38 AM

3. Men confirmed: attractive researcher was attractive.

Valuable information there.

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Response to Tutonic (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 07:48 AM

6. Yes.

I'm sure those neurochemists will be a great help studying tectonic plates, an excellent use of their completely unrelated education.

Being able to research anything and everything is very, very important. A great number of groundbreaking discoveries in any field are surprise results from something unexpected.

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Response to Tutonic (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:45 AM

7. The "love hormone" is also the "tribal hormone."

When you have higher levels of oxytocin, you bond more readily with the person.

They're part of your group. You tend to draw boundaries around you and them and exclude others.

Others are not part of your group. Groups can be class, race, ethnicity, neighborhood-based . But those not part of your group are different.

They're inferior. You cut them less slack. Your guy makes a mistake, you find ways to excuse it. Their guy makes a mistake, it's intentional. They're bad. You don't really need a reason to say they're inferior. You just know it.

Race. Class. Party. Education level.

You want divisions in society, exploiting the biochemical basis of social interactions isn't a bad place to start. That would be oxytocin.


(Now, if a freeper had said "Teutonic" instead of "tectonic", we'd be all over the idiot for displaying his or her stupidity publicly. I'd have to ask if you really thought that a possible shift in the number of people ordering sauerbraten versus blood sausage in German and Austrian restaurants in SE Asia was really that important, and if, perhaps, you thought that was related to some racist sense of Teutonic superiority. But as a good DUer, I have to assume that it's a simple speech error on your part, or perhaps one corrected by a bad spell-check software. Either way, first and foremost I have to feed my confirmation bias and do things to support where I've drawn tribal boundaries, tribal boundaries at least part based on how pleasurable experiences and interactions produce oxytocin, which later affects my perceptions and my own judgments. But my confirmation bias also says that I'm superior to the biology that guides me, and it's also impossible for superior me to have any possible confirmation bias.)

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:38 AM

4. Where can I buy this?

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 07:33 AM

5. Wouldn't it have been better to use a female they did not know?

Interesting study anyway.

I have a couple of male friends who would defy this study's predictions.

Both have the ability to get physically close to people without causing sensations of "uh oh, too close." Both are witty, talkative charmers who are in solid monogamous relationships. I would describe them as people lovers. They get in closer to men than is the usual norm, as well as women. Neither are more than average in looks, by typical standards. I would say they exude an aura of confidence, inner balance & generosity of spirit that most people find disarming.

In both cases the spouses are perceptive and have no problem with the behavior, willing to share their spouses with the world. They seem to trust them. Most women would have a problem with their spouses hugging, flirting, sitting up close to other people. But somehow with these guys, it seems OK.

I'm sure they would be outliers in this study, which seems to describe the norm.


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