Inhaling the hormone oxytocin makes men just as empathetic as women, according to a new study.
Men who were given a nasal spray with the so-called "cuddle hormone" showed increased levels of empathy compared to men who received a dummy spray, BBC News reported. The study appears in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Oxytocin is a naturally produced hormone that's known to trigger labor pains and promote bonding between mothers and infants. It's also been shown to play a role in social relations, trust and sex, BBC News reported.
These new findings suggest oxytocin may help improve behavioral therapy for patients with conditions that cause reduced social withdrawal, such as schizophrenia and autism, said the study authors. - (HealthDay News, May 2010)