New study shows that females feel more stressed when alone than their male folks. Scientists from the University of Calgary, Canada tested various levels of stress on male and female mice. The result clearly indicates the importance of social network to females. This findings could birth methods for coping with stress.
Senior author of the research, Dr. Jaideep Brians, explains, “Many species, including humans, use social interaction to reduce the effects of stress. In fact, the lack of a social network may itself be stressful. Recent research suggests that young girls are more sensitive to social stress than boys.
“This could mean that social networks are more important for females in general, and that young females may be more sensitive towards social isolation than males.”
Young mice, that had been housed in same-sex groups after birth, were used for the study. The mice were either left in their same-sex groups, housed in pairs, or were isolated altogether for 16 to 18 hours.
Lead author of the study, Laura Senst revealed that isolating the female mice for less than a day led to the release of signalling chemical called corticosterone (stress hormone). This reaction never happened to the male mice. The outcome of the study showed that only young female mice understood social isolation as a type of stress.
However, in contrast, researchers also discovered that both the male and female mice had experienced physical stress in same way. This imply that both sexes have the almost same sensitivity towards physical stress – with the female having twice as much.