Researchers: Oxytocin may help promote men’s fidelity

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by Shern-Min Chow / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on November 16, 2012 at 1:27 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 16 at 1:40 AM

HOUSTON—Can a hormone help keep men from cheating?  That’s the suggestion in a new study published in the “Journal of Neuroscience.”

On a recent night, we stopped by the Kung Fu Saloon on Washington Avenue to ask singles about the idea.  Once a couple is together, can a “love” drug help them stay together? 

“Who invented this drug? A man or woman,” one patron asked.

Actually oxytocin is a natural hormone, linked to nursing and social bonding.  Its levels increase during early romantic love, after sex and now may help keep men faithful.

“I would not take it,” 30-year-old Michael Smith-Palmer said flatly.

At the next table, 28-year-old Amber Crockett was all for it.

“If that’s true, give my boyfriend some of that!” she exclaimed.  

Meanwhile 31-year-old Adam Ruther had a requirement.

“I think it’s gotta to be—you’ve got the right woman,” he said.

German researchers at the University of Bonn, tested 57 men with a nasal spray.  Half got a placebo.  Half got oxytocin. Then they introduced an attractive research assistant.

“The guys that got the oxytocin wouldn’t get quite as close to the attractive woman as the guys who got the placebo,”  Dr. Parviz Kavoussi, a urologist who specializes in fertility and reproductive medicine explained.

The Austin physician added, “If they have a higher level of oxytocin they might have a higher level of bond commitment in their relationship.”

So who’s up for a shot? 

“Like you spray your dog for fleas?”  One young woman jokingly asked.

“There’s not a chance I would ever need a spray.” 

Lauren Laureto, 27, looked into our camera, pointed and said simply, “Greg!” 

While several young men proclaimed, “I do not need a drug for that.”

Shane Heumann, 30, was skeptical.

“I can’t see that working.  A hot girl is gonna be a hot girl, whether you spray something or not, but I don’t have a girlfriend,” he said.

That actually matters.  Researchers found oxytocin had no effect on single guys.

As for the men who took the fidelity drug; how much farther away did they stay from the attractive woman?  About six inches, researchers said.

For more:  http://www.jneurosci.org/content/32/46/16074

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