Power Of Tear

Lonely teardrops

In a new experiment, men who sniffed women's tears reported physiological declines in sex

Crying women may literally turn men off. Odorless chemical signals in a woman’s waterworks lessen any stirrings of sexual interest in a guy who whiffs her tear-stained cheeks, a new study suggests. In a paper published online January 6 in Science, a team led by neuroscientists Shani Gelstein and Noam Sobel of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, presents the first evidence that human tears contain pheromones, substances that influence behavior via smell. “Our experiments suggest that women’s emotional tears contain a chemosignal that reduces sexual arousal in men,” Sobel says. Chemical compounds in tears that douse men’s desire have yet to be identified. “This new report makes a strong case for pheromones in women’s tears, but the results clearly warrant replication,” comments neuroscientist Robert Provine of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The reasons why people, but not any other animal, cry at sad thoughts or events remain poorly understood. Tears provide key visual cues to a person’s inner emotional distress, Provine says. In a 2009 study that he directed, men and women rated the faces of crying people with visible tears as much sadder than the same faces digitally altered to remove tears. Tear removal made faces appear emotionally ambiguous, with participants saying that awe, concern or puzzlement often outweighed sadness

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