Is Jealousy Linked To Testosterone Levels?

Is Jealousy Linked To Testosterone Levels?





Can testosterone levels be related to jealousy?

Recent research in to jealous emotions among primates may suggest so.

It seems that when male monkeys witness their mating partner with other male monkeys regions of the brain that are associated with pair bonding and social pain are stimulated.

This particular research is interesting because it is tested on monogamous monkeys, that means that they will only have one partner in their lifetime.

As you may be aware, jealousy is a particularly curious subject and can cause a number of emotions and actions.

It can cause feelings of anger, resentment, uncertainty and low self esteem.

Relationship Bonding

However, it has been noted that doses of romantic jealousy can actually help build and secure a relationship.

If that couple have small feelings of jealousy with their partner it could be argues that they will always ensure that they work hard to keep their respective partner happy and loved.

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The reasoning behind feelings of jealousy are not entirely known and there are numerous theories banded around that it is to do with mating.

With limited knowledge behind the emotion in humans this gives an interesting insight in to how it works in primates when they see their mates in company with rival males.

This can help us learn more about how jealousy can help strengthen a relationship while understand more about its involvement in domestic violence.

When the monkeys were subjected to seeing their mate with a potential rival they responded with aggression and physical actions.


It is also interesting to note that levels of the hormones testosterone and cortisol also increased.

Both of which are associated with aggression and challenge.

The study evaluated the increased concentration of testosterone, plus the amount of time spent looking at their mate with the stranger, also noting the concentrations of cortisol which suggests that the primates were feeling that the interaction between mate and stranger male was a challenge to their relationship.

Like for like studies have also been conducted with voles; both species show brain regional activity related to pair bonding with social memory and reward.

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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.

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