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The love hormone! We want it and we need it. Fortunately, ladies, our bodies produce it. By definition, “oxytocin is a mammalian hormone that acts primarily as a neuromodulator in the brain. Also known as alpha-hypophamine (α–hypophamine), oxytocin has the distinction of being the very first polypeptide hormone to be sequenced and synthesized biochemically, by Vincent du Vigneaud et al. in 1953.” Great news, our brains produce chemicals that, as Halle Berry’s character says in Monster’s Ball, “makes [us] feel gooooooood”.

In recent years oxytocin has been extracted for use in nasal spray and oral hormone therapy to treat symptoms related to autism and schizophrenia. Oxytocin is considered to be the love hormone because of how it is derived, “best known for roles in female reproduction: 1) it is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and uterus during labor, and 2) after stimulation of the nipples, facilitating birth and breastfeeding.” Apparently, there is something to be said about physical stimulation. The release of these hormones cause a marked difference in interpersonal behavior and interaction.

Have you ever noticed that when people feel a woman is too “uptight”, “stiff”, or “witchy” it is said that she needs to “get some”? Well, scientifically speaking, there is some truth to that. The release of oxytocin soothes and helps to form and maintain emotional bonds. All mammals, not just human babies, need to be touched, held, stroked, and physically stimulated. Physical touch reduces anxiety and calms nervous or hyper over-stimulated behaviors. Physical closeness is directly related to mental well being, “recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin’s role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the “love hormone.” Thus, physically stimulating interaction should not be rationed.

In clinical studies, the love hormone has been proven to improve social behavior in highly functioning patients with Autism. Studies by French scientists, conducted on 13 highly functioning autistic patients revealed the following: “We demonstrated that oxytocin can promote social approach and social comprehension in patients with autism,” Sirigu and colleagues report. They also suggested that, “the specific effect may be that the hormone reduces mistrust and fear associated with social interactions.”

Women must not use the production of oxytocin as an excuse to “go wild”. Women should keep their virtues in tact and share their bodies with a deserving partner. Women who practice withholding physical interaction end up hurting themselves more in the long run. If there is a contingency related to your intimacy, you are playing a game that has no real winner. Discerning adults should enjoy healthy physical relationships that are developed over time with trust at the helm.

The problem exists in playing the “game”. A woman who denies the man who cares, physical interaction, in an attempt to determine his level of commitment is shooting herself in the proverbial foot. If a man only wants sex, no amount of giving it away or withholding it will change his mind. So, women actively playing the game; you are thereby depriving yourself of helpful hormones that your body and mind needs to be well. Stop playing yourself : develop some oxytocin! If your worth and value is determined by what you can do for your partner physically, there are deeper issues present that are not related to physical interaction. If you are loving who you are with; show him some love. It will do your body and your mind some good!

References

Oxytocin. (2011, March 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:42, March 12, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Oxytocin&oldid=418327314

CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange) (2010, February 17). Autism: Oxytocin improves social behavior of patients, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 12, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/02/100216221350.htm

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