Bromance raises levels of a ‘cuddle’ hormone that helps relieve stress, a new study suggests.
Bromance or a strong connection between male friends may generate mental health benefits similar to those exhibited in romantic relationships, according to a rat study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley.
After being isolated for three hours, male rats which previously spent time together were found to have raised levels of oxytocin, a hormone that provides stress relief, upon being reunited.
This could have implications for human male-male friendships, as it suggests that having social ties can help men cope better with life’s pressures.
Oxytocin, also known as the ‘cuddle’ hormone, has been previously proven to enhance male-female relationships through encouraging the formation of stronger bonds.
Lead author Elizabeth Kirby told Berkeley News that “a bromance can be a good thing” because “having friends is not un-masculine”.
“These rats are using their rat friendships to recover from what would otherwise be a negative experience. If rats can do it, men can do it too,” said Kirby, who is now pursuing a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford.
Read Berkeley News for more information.