Everyone knows what oxytocin is. It’s a hormone stimulated during sex and it’s commonly referred to as the “love hormone.” We know it’s a big part of sex, but apparently it also plays a huge part in your religious beliefs.
Researchers at Duke University say that sex, or more specifically, the hormone released during sex, could inspire or increase a belief in a higher power. In their study, researchers found that men reported a “greater sense of spirituality” after taking a dose of oxytocin in pill form.
Patty Van Cappellen, a social psychologist at the American University, told Duke Today about her findings.
“Spirituality and meditation have each been linked to health and well-being in previous research. We were interested in understanding biological factors that may enhance those spiritual experiences. Oxytocin appears to be part of the way our bodies support spiritual beliefs.”
Van Cappellen and her team gave some men in their study the hormone while others took a placebo. The men who had the oxytocin were more likely to say that spirituality was an important part of their lives compared to the men who ingested the placebo. The men who took the oxytocin also reported feeling a sense of unity with other people and things. Similarly, oxytocin made them experience more positive emotions such as awe, gratitude, hope, inspiration, love, and serenity.
Not all men in the study reported faith being a part of their lives before, either. The love hormone literally inspired men who previously weren’t religious to be more open and accepting of religious beliefs.
The study hasn’t been replicated on women, but it’s clear that oxytocin has a profound effect on a man’s religious beliefs.
“Spirituality is complex and affected by many factors,” said Van Cappellen. “However, oxytocin does seem to affect how we perceive the world and what we believe.”
So the next time you want to drag your boyfriend to church on a Sunday morning, maybe carve out some time for a little morning sex beforehand. He’ll be dropping to his knees and singing along to hymns in no time. .
[via Daily News]
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