AFTER a racy romp with your partner, running off to church might be the last thing on your mind. But science has shown that having more sex makes men more devout and more likely to pray.
According new research by the Duke University, sex can be a truly religious experience, making men more likely to believe in God. It’s all down to that famous “cuddle hormone”, Oxtocin, which is stimulated in sex and heightens love and affection.
Oxytocin occurs naturally within us and is stimulated during sex, childbirth, and breastfeeding. The natural chemical, boosted by skin on skin contact, promotes social bonding, trust and feelings of well-being.
Now the study at the North Carolina university has found it could also incite spirituality in men.
Research assistant, Professor Dr Patty Van Cappellen, said: “Spirituality and meditation have each been linked to health and well-being in previous research.
“We were interested in understanding biological factors that may enhance those spiritual experiences.
“Oxytocin appears to be part of the way our bodies support spiritual beliefs.”
Women actually produce more Oxytocin than men but the researchers are yet to study the effects on women’s spirituality.
In the study, men were given the hormone, and others received a placebo.
The men who were given the hormone were more likely to say that spirituality was an important part of their lives, whether they had previously stated that faith played a part or not.
They also said they would be more likely to see themselves as “interconnection with other people and living things”, the study reports.
Oxytocin sparked more positive emotions, such as awe, gratitude, hope, inspiration, love, and serenity.
The response also depended on genetic make-up, with those having a certain gene called CD38, which regulates the hormone’s release in the brain, had a more amplified response.
According to The Sun, the study was published online in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
Prof Van Cappellen added: “Oxytocin’s effects on women’s spirituality still needs to be investigated.”