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
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."
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments
or send an email to the author at
ehayden at nationaljournal dot com.
You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.