Today a brand new study out of Well Duh University: It appears that, at least in men, sex can inspire an increased belief in God.
The study is actually from researchers at the University of North Carolina. They say that oxytocin—a naturally occurring chemical in the human body most commonly associated with sexual intercourse—can actually be linked to a deepening belief in God. The chemical has always been credited for deepening feelings love and social bonding, but the new study appears to be the first that finds any connection between oxytocin and a sense of spirituality.
“Spirituality and meditation have each been linked to health and well-being in previous research,” said research assistant professor Patty Van Cappellen. “We were interested in understanding biological factors that may enhance those spiritual experiences. Oxytocin appears to be part of the way our bodies support spiritual beliefs.”
The study was conducted by giving some men extra oxytocin while other men received a placebo. Participants who got the actual hormone were more likely to say spirituality was an important part of their lives and inspired a sense of “interconnection with other people and living things.”
So far, this has only been tested on men (although women naturally produce more oxytocin) and Van Cappellen confirms that “oxytocin’s effects on women’s spirituality still needs to be investigated.”