In a recent study published in the journal Psychological Science, a team of researchers led by the psychologists and neuroscientists Prof. Markus Heinrichs and Dr. Bernadette von Dawans from the University of Freiburg, Germany, challenged the old belief that while women supposedly react to protect and make friends (called the tend-and-befriend response) when stressed, men get aggressive (called the fight-or-flight response). According to the researchers' results, not all men show negative social behavior when stressed.
Using a standardized procedure for inducing stress in groups, researchers tried to analyze how men would react to a stressor. They also made use of specifically designed social interaction games to measure social behavior--positive social behavior like trust and sharing and negative behavior like punishment. Based on the results, men who were under stress exhibited more positive social behavior than the control group. Stress also had no effects on the men's negative social behavior.
Has your man been under a lot of stress lately? Knowing the details of this study, you may find yourself getting a better idea of how to understand your partner's reactions when he's anxious. Don't forget to offer your support. Knowing that you're there to give him strength will help put his mind at ease.
(Photo by Bob Smith via sxc.hu)