Women do, anyway – Women: Why does talking with a girlfriend make us feel so good? If we don’t get enough “girl talk,” feel deprived. A new study has identified a likely reason: feeling emotionally close to a friend increases levels of the hormone progesterone, which reduces anxiety and stress.
Researcher Stephanie Brown says, “This study establishes progesterone as a likely part of the (chemical) basis of social bonding in humans.” Progesterone is a sex hormone that fluctuates with the menstrual cycle, and it’s also present in low levels in post-menopausal women and in men. Higher levels of progesterone increase the desire to bond with others, and may even give us a greater willingness to help other people, even at our own expense.