Often referred to as the "trust hormone," oxytocin is typically associated with helping couples establish a greater sense of intimacy and attachment. Lesser known, however, is its potential role, if any, in preventing couples from cheating. But as a new study from the University of Bonn suggests, it may in fact prevent committed men from getting too close to other women they find attractive — an indication of just how important the hormone is in promoting fidelity within monogamous relationships.
Oxytocin has a number of things going for it. In addition to creating a sense of trust, it can alleviate social fears, facilitate healing, reduce stress and depression, and even increase generosity. What's unclear, however, is whether the hormone can prevent committed people from getting too friendly with strangers.