The Power of Bromances

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It was obvious when Prime Minister Trudeau visited the White House last week that he and President Obama had a love fest. They joked about hockey, shared poutines, told stories about their kids, and even did some work around green house gas reductions. Oh yeah, and there was plenty of hugging to go around.

A recent research study in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology discussed the role of male bonding in reducing stress reactions among male rats. It seems that when the rats in the study experienced some type of stressful event they were more affiliative when put in with other male rats than when they were unstressed. In the stressed situations, the male rats huddled more and touched more. The researchers noted that there was an increase in the hormone, Oxytocin which is sometimes referred to as the “cuddle hormone” because of its ability to promote more social interactions.

For we men the socially held belief is that when things get tough, we want to go off by ourselves to figure it out. It seems, however, that more and more research along with public displays of bromance just go to show that there are other ways to build our capacity for gaining support and with it, our resilience.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2016

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