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Oxytocin: The Cuddle Chemical

What’s interesting is that couples that stay together tend to have very highly correlated levels of oxytocin.  Oxytocin is one of the chemicals that comes up with people are in love.  It’s also related to maternal behaviors.  It’s often referred to as the cuddle chemical. 

And what’s interesting is that in Cotton Top Tamarins, these high affiliated couples tend to boost up these oxytocin levels by giving their partners what they need. The males tend to do more cuddling, more grooming, more "Hey, honey, how was your day?" and the females tend to give the males more sex.  

And I found it really interesting that monkeys - and they’re not even like big primates, these are cute little monkeys - manage to facilitate this bond and strengthen this bond by really just being thoughtful and giving their partner what they need, putting their partner before themselves.  And maybe there’s a lesson in there for us.  

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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