Oxytocin, the hormone of happiness

Oxytocin, the hormone of happiness

Today, the effect of this particular hormone calledoxytocin, which is key in the happiness of the human being, is well known.

It is released when we play sports, when we dance, when we sing or when we hug. She even seems to be responsible for the happiness that exists in a couple.

According to the magazine Journal of Neuroscience, German researchers have certified that oxytocin (the essential hormone of childbirth) administered to men, made them more faithful. Oxytocin, known as the happiness hormone, is then a help for monogamous relationships.

What is oxytocin?

This hormone is produced in the hipotalamus, a zone of the brain absolutely necessary during childbirth and breastfeeding, but also directly involved in the creation of social bonds (family, couple) and in the increase of trust between individuals.

Scientists wanted to determine the role of this chemical in maintaining monogamous relationships. In the research conducted by René Hurlemann of the University of Bonn, scientists administered oxytocin and placebo to a group of heterosexual men.

After half an hour, the men had to look at a woman whom they later called "seductive". The woman had to move around the room around the volunteers and the men had to say what seemed to be a correct distance or dangerous distance.

The surprising result of the study

The experts found that married men or couples who had received oxytocin maintained a much greater distance when approached or when they were seduced by the beautiful unknowncompared with men who received placebo.

However, oxytocin had no effect on singles. Previous research with field rats had already identified oxytocin as a key hormone for happiness in the animal species.

The new study highlights that oxytocin may have a similar role in humans. Oxytocin is known to increase confidence in people. This is why it is supposed that men, under the influence of the hormone, are closer to the attractive woman.

Yet the opposite has happened, says Hurlemann. Men in stable relationships who received oxytocin maintained a greater distance than single men.

The effect of oxytocin in monogamous men had no effect on men's attitudes toward women, both for those who took it and for those who did not consider it attractive.

Similarly, oxytocin was found to have no effect in men if they were introduced to another man. This study shows that the general function of oxytocin in encouraging monogamous behavior is the same from rats to humans.

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