Women’s tears dampen men’s libido: Study

New research confirms an age old fear – men are truly turned off if the woman sheds tears. The researchers found that men who smelled the tears of weeping women produced less testosterone and found female faces less arousing.

According to neuroscientist Noam Sobel of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, whose study was published online yesterday by the journal Science, communications is not limited to language adding, “And here we’ve uncovered the chemical word for ‘no,’ or ‘not now’.”

Tears have always been a subject of study and often unexplained. Emotional tears previously had been shown to be chemically distinct from reflexive, eye-protecting tears. In fact blind mole rats that weep ward off other males. Mice however shed tears to stop their eyes drying out, but studies have shown that male mouse tears act as an aphrodisiac for females.

Dr Sobel asked six of his women volunteers to watch soppy chick flicks hat would make them cry and let their tears trickle into a test tube. He had assumed that these tears would trigger feelings of sadness or empathy among the men. Instead, they decreased the men’s libido. The men reported that the tears had no odour, but those who sniffed the genuine tears tended to find women in photographs less attractive than those exposed to fake tears. The levels of salivary testosterone, the male sex hormone also dropped. The 50 tear-sniffing men whose testosterone levels were tested experienced a drop averaging 13 per cent. Even after these sniffers viewed erotic images before submitting to an MRI, they showed less activity in the sexual arousal regions of their brains.

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


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