Oxytocin is Love

Oxytocin is Love

For thousands of years scientists and self-appointed gurus have tried to define what love actually is and what creates it; by the simplest possible definition love is the chemical oxytocin.  Oxytocin stimulates reward receptors in the brain creating the impact of positive mental reinforcement and comfort.  This is in slight contrast to the large levels of dopamine released within the throes of toxic purely passion based relationships, whereas oxytocin facilitates more of long term status quo most commonly referred to as monogamy.

In a German study conducted at the Bonn University Medical Center, they found that oxytocin plays a direct role in males that feel comfortable and happy remaining in a long term monogamous relationship.  By showing subjects pictures of other women as an experiment and using their long term partner as a control, they were able to determine that the release of oxytocin prompted by the long term partner is indeed one of the primary catalysts that fuels monogamy.

In many circles, and especially in modern times, people are made to defend their decision to remain monogamous with one partner throughout the duration of their lifespan on Earth.  Others claim that nearly all species that exist on this planet are non-monogamous and that sticking with just one partner throughout a lifetime is not only unnatural for the species of human beings, but it also not beneficial for the survival of the species in any way whatsoever.

There are many facets to that claim, because monogamy very obviously would provide more protection for a newborn seeing as how two adult members of the species would be there to defend the offspring from danger.  Opposition would claim that a pack of the species could provide that same type of defense for the offspring, and that restricting oneself to one sexual partner has no direct correlation to the propagation of the species.  But that is not necessarily true when stress and other mental amalgams of existence can come into play.

Since oxytocin is a chemical release providing sustenance to the reward centers of the brain, it can not only sustain monogamy, but simultaneously relieve stress as well which is the primary cause of nearly every health problem and complication.  Some of the clichés that are heard everywhere throughout the world exist for a reason, and “Love conquers all” is no exception.  This is of course in reference to the long sustaining love that continuous releases of oxytocin create over a monogamous partnership in a lifetime.  Oxytocin monogamous love is not the same as what Twitter tells people to fight for when they are ruining their life trying to “Form prayers to broken stone,” as T.S. Eliot would say.

Another claim may be that since oxytocin is indeed a chemical, it could render certain skeptics to put forth a claim that it is not a genuine thing but moreover a chemical addiction.  Like a drug addict looking for their next fix, the monogamous male enacts thoughts to release more of the oxytocin they so desperately crave.  Whether chemical love differs from the idea of love itself is of no matter, because it is the happiness derived within the choice to love that releases oxytocin.  So it is either a circular argument or something worth believing in, the choice rests upon the shoulders of the individual.

Editorial by Michael Blain

Medical News Today