Science: Women's Tears a Turnoff for Men

This article is from the archive of our partner .

This is convenient: there's now a biological reason why men dislike women's tears. When "weeping" tears (as opposed to the "eye-protecting" variety) are sniffed by a male, these little emotion-filled water droplets can dampen men's libido "like a cold shower." Crying women apparently cause men to momentarily produce less testosterone, which makes them find female faces "less arousing." These findings arrive courtesy of a team of researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science who recently published their results in the journal Science.

The experiment concocted included having six female "tear donors" watch sad movies--including My Sister's Keeper, Life is Beautiful and Terms of Endearment--and then take several drops of these elicited tears and have men smell them, then fill out a questionnaire. The results, these researchers told NPR, included a emotional-tear induced "drop in arousal" that didn't occur when men were asked to sniff "salty water that had been dribbled down a woman's cheek."

This chemical trigger may also be found in sweat or saliva, according to a Boston University psychologist unaffiliated with the "tear study." The psychologist, James Cherry, was quoted by NPR expressing this sentiment: "Whatever substance or substances that may be there could be found in a lot of places."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.