Why Oxytocin is So Calming for Women

Posted: March 3rd, 2010 | Author: skwilcox | Filed under: Empathy, News | No Comments »

Women, so it seems, rely on their friends to help them through rough, stressful patches much more than men. Some research supports this observation. What is it about women's friends that helps them deal with life's stresses so much? Well, along with activities like kissing, skin to skin contact, massage and so on, oxytocin levels are increased in women simply by connecting with friends.

Is there some anthropological reason for this? Probably. But the point is that when a person is undergoing stress, a potentially harmful hormone called cortisol is released. Now cortisol has its purpose, but in our modern society, the fight or flight reflex that it plays a role in is triggered a lot more often than is really needed (when was the last time you had to run from a pack of wild dogs that wanted the game you just hunted?) Oxytocin helps balance out the effects of cortisol. Women appear to be more receptive to oxytocin, and can up their levels without even being touched–just talking to good friends can do it.

To read more on this go to this link.


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