Hormone Keeps Men Away From Attractive Women

Yet another strange power of oxytocin has been revealed: when given to men who are in a relationship, it compels them to keep a greater distance from women they find attractive. It’s true. Oxytocin has long been known to be a kind love drug. It’s production soars during childbirth, and it plays a major role in sexual arousal. Now, it seems, it also keeps monogamous relationships monogamous. A news release from the Society for Neuroscience reports that researchers at the University of Bonn gave oxytocin or a placebo via a nasal spray to a group of healthy, heterosexual males. Forty-five minutes later, the men were introduced to a female experimenter whom they later described as “attractive.” As the experimenter moved toward or away from the study volunteers, the men were asked to indicate when the experimenter was at an “ideal distance” as well as when the experimenter moved to a distance that felt “slightly uncomfortable.”  The researchers found oxytocin led the men in committed relationships, but not those who were single, to keep a greater distance (10-15 cm) between themselves and the woman. Wait, there’s more: In a separate experiment, the researchers found oxytocin had no effect on the distance men kept between themselves and a male experimenter. Read more from the Society of Neuroscience.

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