Ahh, bromances. Super close friendships between guys — popularized by the one and only Brody Jenner on his 2008 MTV hit reality show, Bromance — have a lot of benefits. From exploring the world of bro-inspired emojis to scoring some seriously cool groomsmen gifts, a good bromance goes way beyond enjoying fancy beers together. And now, researchers are saying close male friendships could be good for your health too. Listen up, dudes!
According to a new study by researchers at the University of California Berkeley, bromances can actually be a big factor in reducing men’s stress levels. The researchers studied male rats housed together in the same cage, exposing them to mildly stressful situations and found that afterwards, the rats tended to huddle close to one another. Adorable, yes, but it also says a lot about what platonic relationships can do to ease stress. The scientific explanation is that the brain produces more oxytocin, a hormone that promotes intimacy, during and after stressful situations.
The findings are especially significant, the researchers say, given that male rats normally tend to become aggressive with one another when housed together — but not so, apparently, when they’re stressin’. Adorable x2.
“Males are getting a bad rap when you look at animal models of social interactions, because they are assumed to be instinctively aggressive. But even rats can have a good cuddle — essentially a male-male bromance — to help recover from a bad day,” says lead author Elizabeth Kirby in a news release.
She adds that there’s no need for men to fear what people will think of their close platonic bromances: “Having friends is not un-masculine. These rats are using their rat friendships to recover from what would otherwise be a negative experience. If rats can do it, men can do it too. And they definitely are. They just don’t get as much credit in the research for that.”
So dudes, next time you have a stressful day, try recovering by hanging out with your best guy friend.
What’s your favorite benefit of bromance? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!
(Photo by Getty)