Why tears turn him off

By Fiona Macrae Time of article published Jan 7, 2011

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The sight of a crying girlfriend or wife is never likely to turn a man to thoughts of passion.

But it is not just the emotions of an upset partner that dampen the mood in a loving relationship.

Female tears contain a chemical that makes her less attractive to the opposite sex, a study has found.

While a man might not realise it, his brain sniffs out the signal and his desire is subdued.

Researchers arrived at the conclusion after asking six women, selected from 60 volunteers, to make repeat visits to a lab where they cried into a test tube while watching a weepy film.

The tears were then trickled back down the women’s faces and a group of men asked to lean close. Salty water was used as substitute tears in a second group of women.

The men said that both sets of “tears” smelt the same. But when shown pictures of female faces, those who had sniffed the real tears rated the pictures as less attractive.

To expose the men to the feelings of sadness that had accompanied the women’s tears, the men then also watched a weepy movie.

Levels of the male sex hormone testosterone fell in those who had sniffed real tears but not in the men exposed to the fake ones.

The researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, said the results suggest that weeping helps women ward off unwelcome advances.

The chemicals in tears could also help protect against violence by lowering male testosterone levels. - Daily Mail

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