Telltale Signs You’ve Got the ‘(Empathy &) Love Hormone’ Gene?

Can you tell at first glance if someone is likely to be a good partner or parent?


The genetic variation affects the receptor for oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone” or “cuddle chemical” because it plays a role in social bonding, trust, empathy and generosity. Levels of oxytocin increase during orgasm and childbirth, and it helps the formation of bonds between friends, lovers, and parents and children.


Research has shown that people with two G variants of the gene are more empathetic and “prosocial,” showing more compassion, cooperation and positive emotion. In contrast, those with the at least one A version of the gene tend to be less empathetic, may have worse mental health and are more likely to be autistic.


by Maia Szalavitz