It was recently reported in Maclean’s Magazine that German scientists have developed an “empathy” nasal spray that will make men more understanding of women. The main ingredient in this spray is the hormone oxytocin. This hormone is best known for its role in women’s reproduction and is often referred to as the bonding hormone. It is released in women during breast feeding and post-orgasm. The release of this hormone creates a feeling of empathy for those in close proximity when it is released.
While I fully embrace the hope that men would be more empathetic, I am skeptical that this nasal spray would do the trick. As with pheromones, one would have to bottle a very high quantity of oxytocin in order for it to be effective, which would make this product very expensive. The man taking this would also need to be in close proximity to the appropriate person (ie. His wife) for it to increase his empathy for her, instead of say the newspaper delivery person, the bus driver, or the clerk at the grocery store. I like what the German scientists are trying to accomplish, but perhaps it would be easier for men to feel more empathy towards the women in their lives if they just listened to their partners more. Alternatively, since breast stimulation also releases oxytocin, it may be easier to simply encourage men to play more with our breasts! Here’s some tips on breast play that might help.
Kim Switnicki, ACC
Sex Educator for Women, Sex & Intimacy Coach