(Mirror Daily, United States) – Women are believed to be more social than men, but the latest study published in the Nature magazine suggests otherwise. It seems that men face stressful situations better in a bro’s company. So a bromance is not only bad for the liver, it’s good for your mental health.
Males bond differently than females do. It’s all genetic. They are mainly programmed to compete with each other in order to ensure the survival of their genes. But, as Elizabeth Kirby, the Berkeley University professor that conducted the study, points out, there are certain stressful situations when males actually feel better in the company of other male figures.
In order test her theory, Kirby and her team experimented on male rats. They exposed the animals to stressful situations and then placed them in the same cage. According to the results, the male rats preferred each other’s company after going through rough times. They even showed signs of consoling one another.
But when the team of researchers took the experiment on step further and placed the rats in extremely stressful situations, they chose solitude. It appears that symptoms that are consistent with PTSD generate a need for loneliness, seclusion.
According to Denial Kaufer, the co-author of the study, all is linked to the levels of oxytocin in the brain. When an individual is exposed to weak or mild stressful situations, the brain releases oxytocin, making the person more prone to social interactions.
Oxytocin makes the individual seek companionship. That’s why most male friendships start while attending games or other adrenaline-inducing activities.
But when faced with severe stress, the brain actually reduces the levels of oxytocin, making the individual seek out loneliness. That is why the majority of people who suffer from PTSD prefer to spend time alone, not making many friends along the way.
In a way, the brain is sabotaging itself because certain social interactions with people that are close friends actually help it produce more quantities of the friendship-inducing hormone.
So it seems that even though males are usually genetically programmed to compete for the right of passing on their genes, men face stressful situations better in a bro’s company.
So next time you guys want to go out for a few drinks, just tell the ladies that you are just following up on the doctor’s recommendation.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org
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