Researchers at China’s prestigious Zhejiang University in Hangzhou are just about wrapping up a controversial study in which they’ve spent the past two years spraying oxytocin up the noses of homosexual men to see how it affects their sexual orientation.
For those unfamiliar, oxytocin (not to be confused with oxycontin) is a hormone that is produced in the brain. It’s involved in childbirth and breastfeeding, and is more broadly associated with things like trust, empathy, and sex. It’s sometimes called the “love hormone” or the “cuddle hormone” because levels of oxytocin shoot way up during hugs and orgasms…
Sup China’s Jiayun Feng notes that the study generated quite a bit of controversy upon its initial posting on the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry earlier this year after it was discovered that on the space in the form for “target disease,” someone had written “male homosexual…”
And we’re curious to see what they find out. Back in 2015, researchers at Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico found that they were able to induce a conditioned homosexual preference in male rats by giving them oxytocin and the psychoactive drug quinpirole.
Supposedly, according to one researcher, 30-40% have “changed,” presumably reverting to heterosexuality.
The book cites a study which showed that long-form DRD4 carriage was associated with homosexual behavior. oxytocin has been shown to also blunt dopamine activity:
Oxytocin, a neurohypophyseal neuropeptide, also partially antagonized cocaine-induced motor hyperactivity. Moreover, oxytocin antagonized the increased utilization of dopamine, elicited by cocaine in the nucleus accumbens. The data suggest that oxytocin may influence the behavioural effects of cocaine by affecting dopaminergic neurotransmission in some regions of the brain.
If gays are pursuing aggressive sexual stimuli to elicit dopamine as a means of self-medicating to make up for deficient dopamine receptor function, then the fact oxytocin attenuates dopamine activity might blunt that urge by blunting the dopamine reward for it. If so, it probably initially diminishes the need for sex among gays. If, however, the diminished dopamine produces increased amygdala-usage, it is possible it could cause some amygdala-remodeling.
It would be interesting if oxytocin makes dopamine less effective. Since dopamine is a good amygdala-relaxer, seeking it out can be a good way to avoid having to confront amygdala. When stress comes, you just take a hit, almost like heroin, your amygdala shuts off, and you ignore the stress. If oxytocin makes that not work, suddenly you have stress which can only be overcome by confronting it and overcoming it. Your amygdala will haunt you until you deal with it.
It is interesting if you think about it. Oxytocin is the love molecule. It is what binds you to those you love. Now suppose stress happens due to a threat, and you are on your own. You might ignore the threat. You have the typical single-male’s devil may care attitude.
Now suppose the threat happens while you have someone you love, like a child or wife, who is also under threat. You can’t ignore that threat so easily. It is kind of like the oxytocin interrupts your hedonism, to make you care about the amygdala-stimulant, and to prevent you from simply drowning your concerns in dopamine.
Now picture oxytocin in the context of reproductive strategy. You meet, fall in love, pair-bond, and begin releasing oxytocin. As a result, your sex-drive diminishes, and not only can you reallocate that energy and focus elsewhere, but you are also rendered less likely to cheat. Conversely, pair up with cheater after cheater, rendering you cynical and destroying your ability to bond, and you diminish oxytocin and now you are off to the rabbit races, mating-wise.
If that all is the case, and this is a treatment for homosexuality, it could also be a treatment for rabbitry. If homosexuality is just an accidental over-expression for the r-strategy, as this site alleges, then cure homosexuality and you will cure rabbity.
Interestingly it would also point to Europe as only needing some oxytocin to generate love and bonding for their fellow Europeans so that threats could not be ignored, and the migrant rapists and murderers would soon be getting sent on their way.
It will be interesting if cutting dopamine, or just making its secretion more pulsatile, will increase oxytocin, or if there are other stimuli we could present to elicit a greater secretion of oxytocin, and a greater drive to see amygdala-stimuli dealt with, rather than ignored.