New evidence indicates that a night out with the lads could be just what men need to unwind and take a break from stress.
Evidence gathered from a study on male Barbary Macaque apes, which have very similar social and psychological characteristics to humans, shows that when with other male apes, they have lower stress levels when compared to when they are with their partners and family.
The German study was carried out by the University of Gottingen, and tested for stress biomarker the hormone gluccocorticoids, when the apes were exposed to stressful situations, such as very low temperature and when with different social groups.
When they were with other males, the apes showed a significantly lower amount of stress, compared to being in mixed sex groups or with females.
It is thought that this could be because, like humans, Barbary Macaques form strong friendship bonds, and also believe in strength in numbers. When with other males, they are less fearful, and this bravado could be suppressing their stress levels.
“During stressful situations the presence of close social partners buffers against the adverse effects of increased physiological stress levels,” explained the study paper.
It isn’t known whether the same effects can be seen in men when they get together, but Barbary Macaques are very similar to humans in their psychology, so it is possible. Further investigations would have to be carried out on men to find out.
Women generally have a slightly easier time than men actively going out and talking about mental health problems like stress. Men are often more reserved, and so this kind of social interaction could help them deal with stress.