Love hormone Oxytocin helps soldiers like each other and hate the enemy
2010-06-19 0:00

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

West’s tributes to late Saudi King reveal hypocrisy not democracy
2015-01-27 2:16
Hypocrisy is not usually regarded as a virtue of leadership, yet judging by the gushing tributes paid to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah by various Western governments and establishment figures on his death, there are those who believe it should be. In the UK this hypocrisy has been stretched to breaking point with the decision to fly the flags over Downing ...
Millions of GMO insects could be set loose in Florida Keys
2015-01-27 2:34
Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases. Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood. "This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease," said Michael Doyle, executive ...
Furguson Scared The Super - Rich So Bad They're Planning Exits
2015-01-27 0:22
According to a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ferguson and Occupy absolutely terrified the world’s super-rich, and now they’re buying airstrips and farms in remote locations to escape to. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which was held between January 21-24, over 2,500 leaders in the fields of business, international politics, academia and journalism met to discuss ...
The Ring Of The Nibelungs
2015-01-27 0:20
Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (also known as Ring of the Nibelungs, Die Nibelungen, Curse of the Ring, and Sword of Xanten) is a 2004 German television film directed by Uli Edel and starring Benno Fürmann, Alicia Witt, Kristanna Loken, and Max von Sydow. The film is based on the Norse mythology story Völsungasaga and the German epic poem Nibelungenlied, ...
Google Street View Shows NAACP Bombing a Hoax
2015-01-26 22:58
Caught in the act: NAACP passing off old soot marks as new in ‘bomb’ hoax NAACP Colorado Chapter President Henry D. Allen Jr. has been caught in the act of passing off old soot marks as new damage from the recent ‘explosion’ at the Colorado Springs chapter headquarters. Although Gotnews.com has previously remarked on the minimal damage as reported by the ...
More News »