Cry of no passion

Human beings secrete a range of substances that send subliminal signals to other humans. In recent years sweat has been found to be a continuous, smelly, podcast of information communicating when a woman is fertile and how laden with testosterone a man is. Now new research has shown that a woman’s tears also send biological messages and their effect is to switch off a man’s desire.

In the study men were asked to watch emotional movies and sniff either a woman’s tears or a saline solution. The heart rates, skin temperature, and testosterone levels of the men were measured throughout the film.

The men were also given questionnaires to see how strongly they empathised with the characters in the film since the researchers were actually seeking to see if a woman’s tears would impact empathy levels in men. No increase in empathy was observed after sniffing tears compared to saline, but some interesting findings did arise.

The results showed that heart rate and skin temperature, both physical signs of sexual arousal, dropped after sniffing tears but not saline. Levels of testosterone, a hormone closely linked to sexual arousal, also dropped after sniffing tears. These findings indicate that tears somehow would reduce a man’s desire but the researchers went a step further.

In a second experiment the researchers again had men watch an emotional film and sniff tears or saline. This time however, they took magnetic resonance images (fMRI) of the men’s brains while they watched the film.

Significantly, the brain imaging showed clearly reduced activity in the parts of the brain associated with sexual arousal in the men who sniffed a woman’s tears but not for those who sniffed saline.

It is not clear yet exactly what component of a woman’s tears has this libido crushing impact but the effect seems clear. The researchers point to the possibility of using the tear chemical to treat conditions featuring high testosterone levels such as prostate cancer. More immediately gentleman, it is yet another potent, if perhaps not the noblest, reason why you should do everything in your power to keep your lady happy.

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The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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