March 3, 2009

Men Fight and Flee; Women Tend and Befriend

This just in!

A UCLA study indicates women respond to stress very differently than men. Since testing of human response to stress has always been about men, this (finally) egalitarian study is uncovering all new findings.

Because women are not men.

Gail Berkowitz reported, "It's a stunning find that has turned five decades of stress research... upside down." Didn't we know this already? I think you savvy readers already intuited these differences in stress response between the sexes in kindergarten.

Stress triggers one of two responses: a fight or a flight. But not so for the ladies. One of the reseachers, Laura Cousino Klein, PhD says when the stress-response hormone oxytocin is released in a woman, she is compelled to tend children and gather with other women. In this process of connecting and friending, oxytocin is released, creating a calming effect.

It does not work for men because testosterone buffers, whilst estrogen heightens the soothing effects of oxytocin.

So let's take this on home, broke girlfriends! Waste no time, ye financially frantic and frazzled. Get out and meet up with your gal pals, the perfect antidote to the fiscal stresses of our times…such as the all-new all-depressing low on the Dow yesterday to 6,763.

This explains my current social habits that revolve, planet-like, around the best women ever, including nine friends who have met twice monthly for years who share tales and woes, food and wine, love and loss, and who celebrate anything worthy. There is little in life that is better than that.

Anyway, should you need a reason to tell your husband or boyfriend you need a night out, share this study. Plus, think of your savings on anti-depressants and psychotherapists —and nicotine, alcohol, chocolate, Ho Ho's, or whatever your vice of choice.

I'm signing off with a feeling of gratitude to my dear and priceless friends. You know who you are. Like warm sun on spring plantings do our friendships thrive. Here's to you, C, B, D, E, G, J, K, L M, N, R and S. Well, goodness, let's just say from A to Z—and that would include my marvelous aunt Zita Amelia (real name).

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  1. A M E N !!!!!! Great stress advice, sister!

  2. So true! Thanks for the reminder- I might just have to plan a girls night. :)