‘Faithfulness Hormone’ Linked To Monogamy/Cheating

‘Faithfulness Hormone’ Linked To Monogamy/Cheating

A scientific investigation into human monogamy has found that the hormone oxytocin (OXT) can cause men to perceive their partners as more attractive than other women. When shown an image of their female partner, the reward regions of men’s brains were triggered by the hormone. It is therefore thought that the prevalence of oxytocin in males may increase the likelihood of them remaining faithful.

Sex picture from Shutterstock

Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China analysed OXT interaction with brain dopamine reward systems in 40 heterosexual pair-bonded males.

During a controlled MRI experiment, the study found that intranasal OXT treatment made subjects perceive their female partner’s face as more attractive compared with unfamiliar women but had no effect on the attractiveness of other familiar women.

In a separate experiment, they also found that men dosed with oxytocin kept a physical distance from attractive female researchers, while their OXT-free counterparts all stood closer.

“Our results suggest that OXT could contribute to romantic bonds in men by enhancing their partner’s attractiveness and reward value compared,” the report concludes.

Plasma OXT levels can be elevated by several attachment-related experiences, including partner hugs, social support, massages or orgasms. It is thought that the hormone may facilitate the fidelity of men in a monogamous relationship by making them keep a greater distance from other women

The study notes that sexual monogamy is potentially costly for males, and few mammalian species other than humans exhibit it.

Oxytocin enhances brain reward system responses in men viewing the face of their female partner [PNAS]


  • The study notes that sexual monogamy is potentially costly for males
    With scientific studies to back me up, I can now fully justify to the missus turning the spare room into a harem..

    • Unfortunately, the “cost” is the psychological damage to the male if their partner leaves them. They liken the effect to withdrawal in drug addicts.

      By all means push for the harem – just make sure you don’t push too hard…

  • “Here we provide evidence for a mechanism by which OXT may contribute to romantic bonds in men by enhancing their partner’s attractiveness and reward value compared with other women.”

    And they use a nasally delivered drug to prove it.

    So, what they are saying is that: The drug makes heterosexual men think their partners are more attractive than other women. It “enhances their partner’s attractiveness”.

    Ergo, without the drug – say after 2 or 7 years, other women are more attractive than their partners.

    Sort of sad for straight men no? The researchers are actually saying: “Unless you start taking drugs you can forget a life of monogamy”.

    • It’s a hormone naturally found in our bodies. They were simply researching its effects by injecting more in… that’s simply part of the experiment.
      We have OXT naturally in our bodies and as they say, to improve the ‘dosage’ they simply require more hugs, social support, massages, etc.
      What this research has found… is that the hormone OXT is related to faithfulness of men.
      It’s not a drug.

  • “It’s not my fault honey, I just lack the required levels of OXT, that’s why I cheated on you and haven’t been back to see our first born daughter in six months”

    A friend of the family recently found out her husband had been cheating on her, so she confronted him. He left and hasn’t been back to see their newborn child. Someone give me a needle full of this OXT stuff and I’ll inject him with it (safely, I promise!) so he doesn’t do the same thing to the new woman.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!