Social closeness increases salivary progesterone in humans

Horm Behav. 2009 Jun;56(1):108-11. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2009.03.022. Epub 2009 Apr 9.


We examined whether interpersonal closeness increases salivary progesterone. One hundred and sixty female college students (80 dyads) were randomly assigned to participate in either a closeness task with a partner versus a neutral task with a partner. Those exposed to the closeness induction had higher levels of progesterone relative to those exposed to the neutral task. Across conditions, progesterone increase one week later predicted the willingness to sacrifice for the partner. These results are discussed in terms of the links between social contact, stress, and health.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / analysis
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Progesterone / analysis*
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Social Behavior


  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Progesterone
  • Hydrocortisone