Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Study: Men's Hormones Match Those Of Either Bonobos Or Chimps

chimp bonobo studyIt may come as no surprise that men can at times behave like apes. In fact, they're driven by the same primitive urges.

When faced with an impending competition, men pump out hormones that match those of either peace-loving bonobos or aggressive chimps, researchers at Duke University report. Which hormones win has to do with the guy's personality.

Though most men's bodies prep for a scrimmage by producing cortisol, the stress hormone that runs through the blood of bonobos, status-driven fellows also generate the aggression hormone testosterone, making them more like chimps.

In the aftermath of the battle, however, humans' responses are in a category all their own. Men celebrate victory with an increase in testosterone and mourn defeat with a decrease in it. Neitherbonobos nor chimps show these after-effects.

The conclusions were drawn from a new study outlining differences in chimp and bonobo hormonal responses to conflict.

The research, conducted by scientists at Duke and Harvard universities, was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"It looks like before competition, human [males] are not very unusual," co-author Brian Hare of Duke said. "But after competition, they look unique."

Full story here.

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