A new study has suggested that a hug can make a massive difference for women… but men? Unfortunately the same is not applicable.
Researchers have analysed how 76 people responded to stress after a hug from a romantic partner in a study published in journal PLOS One.
Women who got to hug their significant other showed a decrease in the production of cortisol, which is a hormone related to stress. The hormone also has an impact on memory recall, which could make stressful tasks more difficult.
Men did not get the same perk however. The study had a small sample size, but has expertly added to a solid body of science, claims communication professor Kory Floyd.
It is not surprise that touch helps with the body’s regulation, and other studies looking at the benefits of longer contact – like a massage – seem to suggest this.
Of course, a hug is a quickly applied fix for stress and can help buffer stressful situations. It’s difficult to say why men did not experience the same level of stress relief via hugs.
Researchers suggest that social pressures might have something to do with it. The study is not the final word on the matter and, despite the surprising find, requires more investigation.