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

Sand Pirates: ISIS Are America’s 21st Century Terrorist Privateers
2014 11 01
What is ISIS? If you believe govt and corporate propaganda, you still think that ISIS is a grassroots Islamic ideological movement ¨C and with no connection to intelligence agencies like America¡¯s CIA, Britain¡¯s MI6, Turkish (NATO) intelligence, Saudi intelligence, Israeli intelligence, or Pakistan¡¯s ISI. The reality of ISIS is something altogether different¡­ On closer inspection, these marauding paramilitary ISIS gangs are nothing ...
Ancient Stone Circles in Mideast Baffle Archaeologists
2014 11 01
Huge stone circles in the Middle East have been imaged from above, revealing details of structures that have been shrouded in mystery for decades. The Big Circle called J1 is about 390 meters (1,280 feet) in diameter, with an open area created by bulldozing in its interior. Credit: David L. Kennedy, copyright is retained by the Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology ...
Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
More News »