Scientific Evidence Proves Bromances Are Good For Mens’ Health
It turns out that dudes who rely on other dudes for support, advice and companionship may be onto something.
A new study from the University of California, Berkley, finds that when men are social with one another, they may be more resilient to stress.
It’s true for rats, at least.
The researchers sought to examine how social relationships could influence rodents’ ability to handle stress. When male rats roomed together (i.e., they shared a cage) and were exposed to a mild stressor, the researchers found that the animals were more social than they tended to be when in an environment that wasn’t stressful.
While research performed on human subjects would be more conclusive, it’s worth noting that mice and rats are often used as human stand-ins because of their similar brain make-up and physiology. We suffer from many of the same diseases, and have similar organs and nervous systems.
What we can learn from the findings is that a little stress can actually be crucial to social bonding, and men who experience stress together may be at an advantage for handling it more adeptly.
“We think oxytocin, which is released after stress, is a way of bringing people closer in times of acute stress, which leads to more sharing, bonding and potentially better fear extinction and an increase in cognitive health,” said Sandra Muroy, a Berkeley graduate student who launched the research during her undergrad study.
According to co-author Elizabeth Kirby, now a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, the kind of stress the rats experienced made a difference in their relationships, helping them to work together cooperatively.