Posted On Friday, April 20, 2012 at 02:39:58 AM
Soccer fans’ hormone levels soar while watching a game but do not increase further after a victory, a new study has revealed. The study was conducted with 50 Spanish soccer fans watching the finals between Spain and the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup.
The researchers, led by Leander van der Meij of the University of Valencia in Spain and VU University Amsterdam in the Netherlands, measured testosterone and cortisol levels for fans of different ages, genders, and degree of interest in the game.
They found that the increase in testosterone was independent of all these factors, but the increase in cortisol level was more pronounced for dedicated, young, male fans. The authors wrote that the testosterone effect is in agreement with the “challenge hypothesis”, as testosterone levels increased to prepare for the game, and the cortisol effect is consistent with the “social self-preservation theory”, as higher cortisol secretion among young and greater soccer fans suggests that they perceived a particularly strong threat to their own social esteem if their team didn’t win. The study has been published in the open access journal PLoS ONE
Why seven-year itch has whittled down to three
The stress of modern life, especially kids, has made the seven-year-itch come round much sooner than it used to, with several distressed couples parting ways at the three-year mark, according to a new study. Researchers have dubbed the phenomenon the ‘three year itch’. The study by Netmums found that couples are now four and a half times more likely to split after three years than the traditional seven.
Experts said that trying to juggle careers and parenting while struggling with changing gender roles is leading to more relationship failures. They also cited a growing trend for ‘fast forward’ partnerships as couples get together later in life, but spend less time getting to know each other before having children.
Having children apparently put the greatest strain on a relationship. Nevertheless, many seem to be having children earlier in relationships. “Relationships are tough at the best of times but having children puts an extra strain on them,” Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard, 44, said.
“Add in lack of time, exhaustion, work and money worries and maybe it’s little surprise couples are splitting up earlier than ever before. Certainly, there is unprecedented pressure on women to be the perfect wife, mother and career woman while men are feeling more and more unsure of their role. There seem to be a lot of people having children later in life but earlier in relationships. Whereas women tended to have children in their twenties, now it tends to be in their thirties.”
Freegard insisted that possibly some women hear the biological clock ticking and begin looking for a father rather than a boyfriend. “The problem with ‘fast forward’ relationships is if the foundations are not strong then children can quickly make a relationship very wobbly.
The research shows we are then giving up too quickly — maybe because it seems there are more choices than there used to be. But often simple tricks which cost nothing, like taking time to really listen to each other, can be the key to keeping love alive and remind you why you first fell in love.”
The study revealed that two thirds of couples believe it is harder to maintain a relationship now compared to a generation ago. More than half blamed money worries and debts for driving a wedge though their relationship and one in 14 admitted starting an affair.