Oxytocin: The Cuddle Chemical
Couples that stay together tend to have very highly correlated levels of oxytocin.
Kayt is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), the Author's Guild and the National Association of Science Writers (NASW). She has recently returned to the United States after living abroad for six years and has just published her first book, DIRTY MINDS: HOW OUR BRAINS INFLUENCE LOVE, SEX AND RELATIONSHIPS, an exploration of the neurobiology of love (Free Press, 2012).
Kayt Sukel's writing credits include personal essays in the Washington Post, American Baby, the Bark, USAToday, Literary Mama and the Christian Science Monitor as well as articles on a variety of subjects for the Atlantic Monthly, Parenting, Cerebrum, BrainWork and American Baby magazines. She blogs regularly about traveling on the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award winning travel blog, Travel Savvy Mom; and science, love and life at the Houston Chronicle's Hearts and Minds blog.
You can often find her oversharing on Twitter as @kaytsukel.
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.
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