When males socialize and interact with each other, it helps them deal with stress and also leads to longer, healthier lives.
Friendship between guys is always awesome and extreme fun and it may have a good impact on health as well, according to a latest study.
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When males interact and socialize with their male friends, it brings a positive impact on their health in particular it helps them deal with stress.
For the study, researchers conducted experiments on male rats. Pairs of rats have been housed in the same cage and were exposed to mild stress. Researchers found that animals become more social and cooperative in an environment that is more stressful than that is not. Mild stress increased the level of hormone oxytocin in the brain and rats huddled and toughed each other more after that. These findings have implications for the humans too.
“A bromance can be a good thing,” said lead author Elizabeth Kirby from UC Berkeley. “Males are getting a bad rap when you look at animal models of social interactions, because they are assumed to be instinctively aggressive. But even rats can have a good cuddle – essentially a male-male bromance – to help recover from a bad day.”
“Having friends is not un-masculine. These rates are using their rat friendships to recover from what would otherwise be a negative experience. If rats can do it, men can do it too. And they definitely are, they just don’t get as much credit in the research for that.”
Researchers have also found that rats became isolate and more aggressive when they were given sever stress which is not unlike humans who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or sever anxiety. Researchers suggest that severe stress actually decrease oxytocin levels and makes brain less responsive to any hormone.
“Social interactions can buffer you against stress, but if a trauma is just too much or there is PTSD, you can actually withdraw from social interactions that can be supportive for you,” said co-author Denial Kaufer. “This research suggests that this might be happening through changes in oxytocin; that in the context of life threatening stress, you lose its effect and see less prosocial behavior. This really aligns well with what you see with pathological effects of stress on humans.”
The study helped scientists understand the effects of stress on social behavior, how brain hormones are affected by the stress and lead to changes responses.
Co-author Sandra Muroy said.“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, boding and potentially better fear extinction and an increase in cognitive health.”
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The study was published in journal Nature.