Love hormone Oxytocin helps soldiers like each other and hate the enemy
2010 06 19

By Richard Alleyne | Telegraph.co.uk


Soldiers form loyal "Bands of Brothers" fighting and dying for each other because they have the same instincts that cause mothers to ferociously protect their newborns, a study suggests.


Researchers have found that in the heat of battle they have the same chemicals running through their bloodstreams as protective mothers, meaning they develop incredibly strong bonds with each other but become extremely aggressive to outsiders.

The effect resolves around the hormone oxytocin which is released at times of stress and when people socialise with each other.

But the scientists have found that this chemical, often referred to as the love or bonding hormone, also makes them – like mothers – incredibly aggressive to outsiders.

Using a computer simulation game they found that volunteers given a spray of the hormone bonded more quickly and deeply with their own group but became much more hostile to outsiders.

Dr Carsten De Dreu, of the University of Amsterdam, said that the phenomenon was known as "parochial altruism" or "tend and defend".
This meant that boosted levels of oxytocin produced "in-group love" and "out-group aggression", he said.

Dr De Dreu, who published the findings in Science, said: "Oxytocin is a double edged sword. It makes you kinder to your group but more aggressive to those outside."

Dr De Dreu thinks that the production of oxytocin, which increases at times of stress and in new mothers, has evolved since hunter gathering times when food was scarce and groups had to compete to survive.
He said: "Being aggressive to threatening out-groups makes you a hero, loyal and a patriot to your own group."

Holly Arrow, an expert in the psychology of war at the University of Oregon, said: "Oxytocin is perhaps an important pathway that bonds men together and makes them ready to defend the group."
In three experiments, all on male volunteers, they compared the choices of individuals who received a dose of oxytocin via nasal spray with those who received a placebo.

The volunteers were assigned to three-person groups and introduced to a game in which they made confidential decisions that had financial consequences for themselves, their fellow group members and the competing groups.

The results indicated that oxytocin drives a “tend and defend” response, promoting in-group trust and co-operation and defensive, but not offensive, aggression toward competing out-groups.

The hormone appears to have this effect regardless of how naturally co-operative people are.

Article from: Telegraph.co.uk



Related Articles
’Good Job’ - Soldier lauded for executing Afghan
Sleep Problems Are Common in US Soldiers Returning from Wartime Deployment (No, really?)
No sex please, we’re soldiers
Raw Footage - Israeli Soldiers Killing Innocent People On The Flotilla (Video)
U.S. military reminds soldiers they are at war, not in "amusement park."
Dutch furious at U.S. general for blaming gay soldiers
’I was chemically castrated’
US Admits Chemical Weapons Tests (BBC, 2002)
Kisses unleash chemicals that ease stress levels
Skin churns out marijuana-like brain chemicalsSkin churns out marijuana-like brain chemicals
Chemicals From Teflon Found in Human Breast Milk
Estrogen-like chemical in plastic could be harming the development of children’s brains and reproductive organs
Pentagon Explores ’Human Fear’ Chemicals; Scare-Sensors, ’Contagious’ Stress in the Works?
Drug could turn soldiers into super-survivors
Scientists Identify Genes that Could Turn Ordinary People into Supergeniuses (or Mindless Drones)
Genetic Advances To Pioneer Super-Human Elite?


Latest News from our Front Page

Magaluf bar where British girl was filmed performing sex acts on 24 men is shut down after police investigation into video
2014 07 26
Is this what the youth in Britain and Europe is spending their their energy, money, efforts and innocence on? The young girl, pictured, was lured into performing multiple sex acts after organisers offered a free drink although she thought a holiday was on offer* Council officials launched an official investigation after the video went viral Playhouse bar in Magaluf and entertainment ...
Prejudice is a Form of Common Sense - Hard-Wired Into the Human Brain, Says ASU Study
2014 07 26
Contrary to what most people believe, the tendency to be prejudiced is a form of common sense, hard-wired into the human brain through evolution as an adaptive response to protect our prehistoric ancestors from danger. So suggests a new study published by Arizona State University researchers in the May issue of the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology," which contends that, ...
The State is a Bully
2014 07 24
In the history of Western philosophy and social theory, no really silly idea has been more successful than the theory of the social contract. It is in fact not a theory of the social contract. It is a theory of the political contract. It is the idea, promoted by Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that, at some point in ...
NATO Exercise in Ukraine Coincided with MH-17 Shoot-down
2014 07 24
Rapid Trident was omitted from the flurry of coverage on the shoot-down MH-17. From the U.S. Army in Europe website: Rapid Trident supports interoperability among Ukraine, the United States, NATO and Partnership for Peace member nations. The exercise helps prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies. ...
Warning of ’imminent’ terror attack in Norway
2014 07 24
Norwegians were warned Thursday of the concrete possibility of a terror attack occurring in that country at the hands of people with connections to an extremist group in Syria. A press conference was called in Oslo, Norway on Thursday where an announcement was made of a "possible concrete threat" to national security in that country from terrorists related to an extremist ...
More News »