Movies can raise or lower hormone levels

July 20, 2004

Movies can raise or lower hormone levels

ANN ARBOR—A romantic movie or an action-adventure film can send your hormone levels in measurably different directions, according to new research.

Scenes from (above) “The Godfather: Part II” (Paramount Pictures) and (below) “The Bridges of Madison County” (Warner Brothers)Watching a romantic movie can boost progesterone levels more than 10 percent, bringing couples closer together, according to new research at the University of Michigan. A movie like “The Godfather” can alter testosterone and dampen attentive feelings.

U-M psychology researchers tested three different groups. One viewed a romantic scene from “The Bridges of Madison County,” a second group watched portions of “The Godfather: Part II” while a third group watched a documentary on the Amazon rainforest. Each had hormonal levels tested immediately before, after and 45 minutes after viewing the 30 minutes of tape.

The rainforest group saw no change in hormonal levels while men and women watching the romantic film saw their need for affiliation and their progesterone levels rise. “Bridges of Madison County” left women