Birth control pills influence social behavior
A current study by the University of Trier has shown that the birth control pill can influence the social behavior of women. You can find all results here.
Most women now know that the birth control pill can have some side effects. It was not yet clear whether the hormonal contraceptive can also influence social behavior. The Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at the University of Trier, in cooperation with the University of Konstanz, has now been able to use a examination actually found evidence that the pill can have an influence on social behavior in women. According to this, women who do not take the pill are more empathetic and are more likely to empathize with other people.
How much trust do pill users have in other people?
A total of 83 women took part in the study. Some of them used contraception using the pill, others without the pill and without other hormonal contraceptive methods. In an initial test, the subjects were asked to decide whether they trust another person enough to leave their money. The bottom line: Women who did not use hormonal contraception were more willing to trust and leave the money to women who took the pill. In a second attempt, the women without hormonal contraception were also more social.
A second test was about how well the women recognize the feelings of other people and whether they could feel into them. For this purpose, the test subjects were presented with photos of people with different moods. It turned out that although all women were able to recognize the emotions equally well, However, women without hormonal contraception stated that they felt more strongly about the emotions of the person in the picture than the women who took the pill.
Changed hormonal balance as a possible cause
The cause of the different social behavior among women who use contraception is not yet clear. However, the researchers at the University of Trier suspect the hormone level changed by the pill as a possible reason: “Even if we tried to rule out other influencing factors, it is difficult to say with certainty that these differences are only due to the use of the pill,” says study author Dr. Bernadette von Dawans in a communication. Because hormones that are found in the pill are also produced in the female cycle.
Precisely for this reason, von Dawans emphasizes that the investigation should not serve to explicitly recommend contraceptives other than the pill to women. “Our research is not about advising women against taking the pill. Rather, we want to provide science-based knowledge that will help people decide for or against the pill.” In order to better understand the relationship between social behavior and the cycle phases, another study is currently running, for which new test subjects are constantly being sought. Healthy women between 18 and 35 who are either using the pill or without hormonal contraceptives can register with the subject “019 Online Study on Hormones and Social Decisions” at [email protected]
Sources used: Communication from the University of Trier, swr.de