The ‘love hormone’ Oxytocin has long been associated by various studies with monogamous pair bonding, but a new study from China suggests it ‘may make men more interested in casual short-term flings with unfaithful partners’. And according to a report in the Daily Mail, the researchers claim that it could make sexual attraction more important than feelings of romantic attachment, at least at the start of the relationship.
After courtship ends and a relationship begins, the hormone then moves on to help build more romantic bonds, say researchers from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.
During the study 160 people were shown pictures of members of the opposite sex and told by researchers whether those people had been faithful or unfaithful.
Participants were then asked to give their preference for having a long-term or short-term relationship with the person in the picture.
They found that both sexes clearly prefer fidelity in a prospective long-term partner but the picture differed when it came to short-term relationships.
Men were more likely than women to say they would have a short-term relationship with someone who had been unfaithful.
Women were more likely to want a lasting relationship with a faithful man.