Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stressed? Hold Hubby's Hand

Well, that just put my silly little head in a spin. I think I have the vapors. Actually, any happily married woman knows that they feel better when they hold their husband's hand--especially during times of stress.

My questions for the researchers:

  • Is the reverse true? That is, do happily married men experience lower stress responses when their hands are held by their wife? I would guess yes, but that it doesn't work with anyone else.
  • Do women experience the benefits of hand holding when with their best friend? My guess? Yes.
  • Do people who perceive that their spouses love them, but actually, their spouses don't love them, get this response? My guess again, is yes.
Other, related research shows that it's not just a loving relationship that helps. In fact, men who reported "yes my wife loves me" had better health than those who didn't report this--even if their wives independently told researchers that they hated their husbands. Perception, in this case is reality.

Mama has "pressing questions" of her own:
Some pressing questions remain. Is MoDo going to have a shrieking fit of hysteria in the NY Times newsroom over the news that holding her husband's hand when under stress makes a woman better able to cope? Will film of the hysterical fit be released on the internet? Will a feminazi fatwa be issued against the study authors? Will I get all my Christmas baking done?


ShrinkWrapped said...

I'm pretty sure that any married man who is holding his wife's hand will find his stress level drop; any married man holding the hand of a woman not his wife will undoubtably have highly elevated stress levels, and any straight man holding another man's hand will react as if he is touching a hot stove.

Dr. Melissa said...


The straight man holding another man's hand would only shriek in terror here, in Saudi Arabia, it would be culturally accepted. Perhaps their stress levels would decrease.

Have you seen a picture of Bush with Kind whoever over there? He looks so uncomfortable. It's rather amusing.