What happens when a woman cries? The man usually wants to flee the scene, even if he is a gentleman. Science now reveals the chemistry behind this.
Ever been in a spot where you tears made your man squirm before they fleed from the scene? While that might have been the worst move to make when you were upset, there is science to explain why men just can't bear to see women cry.
Neurobiologist Noam Seobel, along with a team of scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, studied why men were so affected by women's tears. And the results can leave you a tad bit more confused about the male species.
On the surface, we might expect the link to be an emotional one. Men can't see women cry because it affects their well-guarded heart more than they might like to admit. But the study begs to differ. The tears of a woman have a direct impact on men's testosterone. Take a moment to let that sink in.
Professor Noam Sobel told BBC World Service radio that tears reduced levels of testosterone in men and lowered brain activity linked to sexual arousal.
But it isn't the sight of a woman in tears, but the scent of tears that does it!
We've all heard of pheromones—the odorless chemicals produced by animals into the environment that affects other animals around them. While it remains odorless, pheromones are detected by the nose.
Humans produce pheromones, too, and plays a role in sexual attractiveness. But if they use it to communicate with each other like other animals—sending signals of fear, good tail, of an attack, asking to back off—is still being debated.
As for sexuality, pheromones produced by an individual may attract or repel members of the opposite sex. When it comes to pheromones in tears, it douses the flame and has a direct impact on his testosterone.
For this study, the scientists collected tears from female volunteers, who teared up and cried while watching sad movies. The collected tears were taken as samples along with a separate batch of salt solution.
The male volunteers had these samples placed under their nose on a pad, while they had to judge the attractiveness of women's faces that were shown to them. The experiment involved them judging the women while sniffing tears and while sniffing salt solution.
It was found that the men who had tears placed under their nose judged the women's faces as less sexually appealing than they did when sniffing the solution.
Interesting, this had nothing to do with smell because neither tears nor salt solution has any odor.
The levels of testosterone, the hormone responsible for sexual arousal, fell by 13% on average, when exposed to tears. Their homeostasis, too, was impacted, which includes skin temperature, heart rate, and respiration. MRI scans revealed lesser brain activity in areas associated with sexual excitement, including the hypothalamus.
While most of us women in the modern age struggle to hold back tears so that no one gets to see how vulnerable we are, men are struggling to open up and let those tears roll down. Gender struggles seem to be quite slow when compared to the pace of evolution. The fact remains that all sexes have tear ducts, which means tears are equally normal to both.
However, this new study explains the biology of tears and how this can kill the chemistry in your relationship. The neurobiologist stated in the study, “The scent may well be an evolutionary adaptation meant to protect women against aggressive or sexually charged men.” Interesting. Because it shows modern life is still so out of sync with evolution—considering all the abuse that happens at home and outside against women despite all the tears.
In the report published in the Science Express Online Journal, Noam explains:
"This study reinforces the idea that human chemical signals—even ones we're not conscious of—affect the behavior of others."
The team is planning to study the effect of male tears on women, and that would be an interesting read.Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.