'Love Drug' Oxytocin Could Be Used To Improve Marriage, Researchers Argue

Could This Drug Improve Your Marriage?

Fighting with your spouse a lot lately? A drug may be able to help you fix that.

Researchers from the University of Oxford recently argued that administering the hormone oxytocin to couples may improve marital well-being.

In a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Current Opinion in Psychiatry, researchers proposed that, because oxytocin facilitates attachment and bonding, an intranasal dose of the hormone -- in conjunction with marriage counseling -- could improve closeness between married partners.

Researchers have suggested using oxytocin as a "love drug" before. A 2008 study by the University of Zurich found that couples who received a dose of oxytocin in the form of a nasal spray had lower levels of stress hormones and exhibited more positive behavior (such as listening and laughing) during conflicts.

A recent Israeli study also found that oxytocin receptor genes are linked to empathy in couples.

Would you ever take a drug to improve your marriage? Sound off in the comments.

Read more interesting research findings about marriage in the slideshow below.

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CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated the name of the academic journal in which this research will be published as Current Opinion in Psychology. The correct name is Current Opinion in Psychiatry.

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