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Something to Cry About: the Scent of Women’s Tears Decreases Male Libido

January 7, 2011


Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision.  Dry eye is a condition in which there are not enough tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Patients with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.  Very little has been said about crying and tears, until now…

There is an interesting article in this month’s Science titled: Human Tears Contain a Chemosignal.  According to the researchers out of Israel:

Emotional tearing is a poorly understood behavior that is considered uniquely human. In mice, tears serve as a chemosignal. We therefore hypothesized that human tears may similarly serve a chemosignaling function. We found that merely sniffing negative-emotion–related odorless tears obtained from women donors, induced reductions in sexual appeal attributed by men to pictures of women’s faces. Moreover, after sniffing such tears, men experienced reduced self-rated sexual arousal, reduced physiological measures of arousal, and reduced levels of testosterone. Finally, functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed that sniffing women’s tears selectively reduced activity in brain-substrates of sexual arousal in men.

NPR also ran an interesting segment today on the article, titled Smell the Sadness.  You can listen to the segment below:

 

 

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As a side note, researchers found that between birth and the age of 78 a woman will cry for more than 12,000 hours.  That’s 1.36 years!!  Better buy some shares of Viagara maker’s Pfiezer at that rate…

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