Oxytocin question: Does it effect men and women differently?

Submitted by Lukester on
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I'm curious about how Oxytocin plays a role in the male brain. Most of the reading I do on it pertains to female reproduction. Is Oxytocin released in the male brain in the same way it is in the female brain? Does it produce the same bonding results?

There's no easy answer

to your precise questions, because research on humans is still tough to do (can't slice up brains to see levels of neurochemicals as behaviors are engaged in).

However, men certainly do bond, and bonding behaviors do "work" for them, too. And it's very likely that oxytocin (and probably other neurochemicals and receptor configurations) is at work in their bonding, too.

Oxytocin is certainly not a "female" thing. Oxytocin, for example, is necessary for erections to occur! I think people get confused about oxytocin and females because it was first *thought* to be a female hormone, when its role in labor contractions was isolated. Now more is known, and it's not so simple.

I think men sometimes think oxytocin isn't at work in their lives because it is very easy for them to fall into dopamine-driven sexual behavior...perhaps due to the links between dopamine and testosterone levels. But if men take a gentler approach to lovemaking, they experience different feelings, which are probably related to oxytocin.

Hope this helps.