Women have a very important hormone named oxytocin that is found to play a huge role in building social interaction and relationships in mammals, especially humans. This hormone is also found to help connect us to others. The trust, closeness, pleasant touch, eye contact, and empathy are all triggered in an individual with the help of the hormone. The oxytocin levels in the mother are found to have an impact on the child’s behavior and also help mothers build a stronger bond with their baby. According to Tobias Grossmann from the Max Planck Institute and Jessica Connelly and Kathleen Krol from the University of Virginia, the development of oxytocin system in a child is found to rely on the mothers’ behavior.
During childhood, an individual has his/her systems maturing either physiologically or behavior-wise as a step to adulthood. Oxytocin plays an important role in early social, perceptual, & cognitive functions and even complex social behaviors also depend on the hormone. The recent study has shown the mother’s behavior to have an influence on the molding of baby’s oxytocin system. The scientists used saliva samples of both the mother and infants to study the control of the oxytocin receptor gene of the infant. The hormone oxytocin depends on the oxytocin receptor and thus, these receptors had brought epigenetic changes in infant’s DNA.
On a similar note, researcher Adrian Boström from the Department of Neuroscience at Uppsala University has found the hormone oxytocin to have a role in hypersexuality disorder (HD). The World Health Organization announced on May 25, 2019, that it will be adding compulsive sexual behavior in the latest edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) in January 2022. The dysregulated epigenetic mechanisms of both DNA methylation and microRNA activity along with the involvement of oxytocin in the brain is found to cause hypersexuality and thus, the development of a treatment targeting these activities can help end with a cure.