Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/30/soppiness_spray/

New drug spray 'makes men as soppy as girls'

German test subjects blub at pics of kids cuddling cats

By Lewis Page

Posted in Science, 30th April 2010 11:58 GMT

German boffins say they have developed a miracle nasal spray which can make men into big girls' blouses.

Dr René Hurlemann of Bonn Uni's Klinik für Psychiatrie, working with colleagues in Germany, Arizona and Blighty, has just announced successful tests of the new girlification spray - whose active ingredient is the hormone oxytocin.

Hurlemann and his colleagues say they have proved the effectiveness of their devilish drug by means of tests in which ordinary, manly German men used the spray and were then shown photographs featuring among other things a sweet "girl hugging her cat".

Control-group German men who had been given a placebo rather than the soppiness compound reacted normally, either unemotionally or with mild discomfort. But the hapless subjects who had been given the drug showed “significantly higher emotional empathy levels", according to Hurlemann.

"The males under test achieved levels [of emotion] which would normally only be expected in women," says a statement from Bonn University, indicating that they had cooed or even blubbed at the sight of the affecting images.

"Many women have no doubt been waiting a long time for this," adds the statement.

According to Hurlemann and his colleagues, one role of oxytocin in women is the triggering of labour pains. It is also released in copious amounts, apparently, during an orgasm.

The boffins consider that their oxytocin spray might be handy as "medication for diseases such as schizophrenia, which are frequently associated with reduced social approachability and social withdrawal".

The research paper, Oxytocin Enhances Amygdala-Dependent, Socially Reinforced Learning and Emotional Empathy in Humans, is published here (free access) by the Journal of Neuroscience. ®