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Grad Students Benefit from Being Married

What happens when a study of college students is conducted to correlate hormone levels with risk-taking behavior? Researchers inadvertently find that being in a committed relationship lowered cortisol and testosterone levels, which lowered the stress levels of students. Five hundred University of Chicago business school students were asked to play a series of computer games that tested economic decision-making, and saliva samples were taken before and after the test to assess hormone levels and changes. The research was led by Dario Maestripieri, a professor of comparative human development at the University of Chicago, who says, "Although marriage can be pretty stressful, it should make it easier for people to handle other stressors in their lives. What we found is that marriage has a dampening effect on cortisol responses to psychological stress, and that is very new." This article posted in the University of Chicago Medical Center Blog says, "In humans, the connection between testosterone and marriage has a chicken-and-egg problem; it’s not clear whether marriage and fatherhood lowers testosterone, or whether men with lower testosterone are more likely to get hitched." If you're reading this, that shouldn't matter all that much since you're probably already married—and that alone should provide a calming effect.

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