An awesome article Tina emailed me:

Study on Friendship Among Women

It’s about how women have chemicals in their brain that reduce stress when they ARE WITH OTHER WOMEN.

Dang nabbit, I’ve known that for years! Years, I tell you. All I had to to was look at the behavior of my brother and husband and father, and then look at the behavior of the women I know. We get along better in life with friends! But the men don’t gather supportive networks. And I always wondered how they stood it. Now I realize its not because they’re socially underdeveloped (okay, so shoot me, I am sexist) but because their brains aren’t forcing them into relationships.

Here’s the money shot from the article:

“Now the researchers suspect that women have a larger behavioral repertoire than just fight or flight; In fact, says Dr. Klein, it seems that when the hormone oxytocin is release as part of the stress responses in a woman, it buffers the fight or flight response and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women instead.

When she actually engages in this tending or befriending, studies suggest that more oxytocin is released, which further counters stress and produces a calming effect. This calming response does not occur in men, says Dr. Klein, because testosterone—which men produce in high levels when they’re under stress—seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen, she adds, seems to enhance it.”

So give me some dark chocolate, some red wine, and the company of my mommy friends or the Other Women Writers, and I’m a happy oxytocin camper. 🙂