The Dom Drug: Serotonin
Serotonin, like many other hormones such as endorphins, is a natural drug (i.e. produced by the body itself) that resembles LSD, the infamous "flower power" drug of the late 60s. It's a neurotransmitter, meaning that it plays an important role in the transmissions of signals from and to the brain. Medical science has established that serotonin plays in important role in various disorders. It can be used as a smart drug, for example, to try to cure inactive or suicidal behavior, and physical problems, such as migraine.
Serotonin, found in many parts of the body, has immediate emotional effects. An increase of serotonin that follows introduction of its biological precursor into the brain generates signs of ecstasy and euphoria. Drugs that imitate the effects of serotonin have analogous chemical structures and produce excitement, hallucination and agitation. Drugs that are serotonin antagonists tend to generate feelings of depression.
Besides LSD, psilocybin (found in certain mushrooms), used in Yucatán for centuries to induce trance states is also serotonin-like. Serotonin is derived from the amino acid tryptophan. By the way, it's also a component of many venoms, such as wasp venom and toad venom (the latter explains why "toad licking," as is done by certain youths during house parties, has a certain exciting effect, compared by many to the effects of chemical drugs like ecstasy).
The Power-Induced Drug
So what has all this to do with male dominant behavior? Well, a lot. Recent biochemical research has established that all male dominants in any group (mammal or human) have high levels of serotonin. Higher than the average male in the same group. Females have serotonin as well, but until now there is no scientific indication of a connection between female dominant behavior and serotonin.
Take away the power position of the dominant male and his serotonin level will decrease significantly. Reinstate the power position and the serotonin level will rise again. It's important to understand that the male has to be a dominant male to begin with. Giving power to a previously non-dominant male will do nothing for the serotonin level. And injecting serotonin in non-dominant males will not make them dominant.
Although this may not fully prove the idea, it's at least an indication that the dominance as such had to be there before and may very well be genetically determined.
Serotonin has many functions, many of which are still unclear. However, it's clear that one of the functions is that serotonin is a powerful vaso-contractor, i.e. it has a strong effect on temporarily narrowing the veins. The most powerful and most obvious effect of temporarily narrowing veins is the male erection. In other words, there is direct connection (for dominant males only) between power, serotonin and sexual activity (which explains why dominant mammals usually are also the most sexually active ones). Decrease of power related activities in a dominant male will reduce his sexual activity and sexual interest and will make him more apathetic. Again, increase the power related activity and these problems will disappear.
From a pure biochemical point of view one can safely say that the combined effects of noradrenaline and serotonin in the dominant male strengthens sexual activity and arousal and create the chemical "domspace" - the rush effects described above.
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Based on materials from the POWERotics Foundation