IT’S ALL HORMONES

Man is nothing, but an expression of hormones. You fall in love, express anger, behave sober or express a short temper all because of hormones which are secretion of an endocrine system based on glands.

By Prof. Dr Abdullah G Arijo

You had no feeling of love unless oxytocin starts its business. Researchers have found that couples in the first stages of romantic attachment had significantly higher levels of oxytocin than their unattached counterparts. But oxytocin is tied to more than just new love. It’s also released during sexual activity and linked to the intensity of orgasms.

 

It has also summarized all of the oxytocin’s possible relationship-enhancing effects. Some of these include trust, gazing, empathy, positive relationship memories, fidelity, positive communication, and processing of bonding cues

What goes in the life of mature couples is simply due to hormones. The glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids secreted by the adrenal cortex are steroid hormones. Some other steroids, the sex hormones, affect growth and development and regulate reproductive cycles and sexual behaviour. The gonads, or sex glands (ovaries in the female and testes in the male), secrete sex hormones, in addition to producing gametes.

 

There are three major categories of sex hormones: androgens, estrogens, and progestins. Both females and males have all three types but in different proportions. Females have a high ratio of estrogen to androgens. The oestrogens maintain the female reproductive system and promote the development of such female features as the generally smaller body size, higher-pitched voice, breasts, and wider hips of women. Progestins, at least in mammals, are primarily involved in preparing the uterus to sup-Male elephant seals in combat port the developing embryo.

 

In general, androgens stimulate the development and maintenance of the male reproductive system. Males have a high ratio of androgens to estrogens, their main androgen being testosterone. Androgens produced by male embryos early in development stimulate the embryo to develop into a male rather than a female. High concentrations of androgens trigger the development of male characteristics: in humans, for instance, a lower-pitched voice, a lacking hair, and large skeletal muscles.

Androgens have somewhat different effects in different animals. In bullfrogs, the effects include both large body sizes and the tendency to call loudly in the spring. In elephant seals, male androgens produce bodies weighing 2 tons and more an inflatable enlargement of the nasal cavity, a thick hide that can withstand bloody conflicts, and aggressive behaviour toward other males. The two males in the photo are fighting. One will establish dominance over the other and the right to mate with many females, the much smaller individuals in the background. As with hormone production by the thyroid gland and the adrenal cortex, the synthesis of sex hormones by the gonads is regulated by the hypothalamus and anterior pituitary.

In response to a releasing factor from the hypothalamus, the anterior pituitary secretes follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which stimulate the ovaries or testes to synthesize and secrete the sex hormones.

Oxytocin is a hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter. It plays an important role in reproduction. In females, the hormone triggers labour and the release of breast milk. In males, oxytocin helps move sperm. In case there is a production problem, there could be a fertility issue, which may disturb the life of the couple.

Oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin are often referred to as our “happy hormones.” When you’re attracted to another person, your brain releases dopamine, your serotonin levels increase, and oxytocin is produced. This causes you to feel a surge of positive emotions. If female the hormone signals the uterus to contract, beginning labour. It helps move the process along by increasing the production of related hormones. After delivery, it helps the uterus return to its previous size. In case this hormone is not released timely, the birth of a baby may be a problem.

Besides, when a baby latches on its mother’s breast, it triggers a release of oxytocin. This signals the body to let down milk for the baby. This hormone also helps in bonding between mother and baby. Human and animal studies on the effects of oxytocin on the mother-child bond have found that mothers with higher levels are more likely to engage in affectionate parenting behaviours.

Some children tend to be mothers’ children because research suggests that babies who receive this type of parenting experience a boost of oxytocin that makes them seek more contact with their mothers, further strengthening their bond.

Although, oxytocin is released both by male and female, but their mode of action is different. Oxytocin affects males and females differently, especially in social contexts. This may be because the hormone acts differently in the male and female amygdala. This is the portion of your brain responsible for emotion, motivation, and reward. For example, oxytocin may factor into how females identify who to befriend and how to tend to those relationships. The hormone may play a role in the way males identify competitive relationships and navigate the fight-or-flight response.