What Women Want: Oxytocin
Happier women have higher levels of the hormone, study finds
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2010 7:42 AM CST
She seems happy ... perhaps she has high levels of oxytocin.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – If you've ever found yourself wondering what in the world women really want, scientists have an answer for you: oxytocin. The hormone, which has previously been shown to boost good feelings like trust and empathy, makes women happier, according to new research out of California. Scientists studied oxytocin levels in women before and after they were given $24 by a stranger to determine their results, NPR reports.

Not surprisingly, oxytocin levels rose after the gift, though the amount of increase varied. So the study also asked the women to complete surveys about their level of satisfaction with their lives before the gift was given. Those who released more oxytocin during the study were found to be happier, the lead researcher says: "They like being around other people more, they have more sex per month, and they have more resilience to adverse events." (Click here to find out how oxytocin is also, apparently, what nerds want.)