Latest Issue of Science News

4/18 Cover

News

Lonely teardrops

Just whiffing women's tears of sadness dampens men’s libido

By
2:02pm, January 6, 2011

Crying women may literally turn men off. Odorless chemical signals in a woman’s waterworks lessen any stirrings of sexual interest in a guy who whiffs her tear-stained cheeks, a new study suggests.

In a paper published online January 6 in Science, a team led by neuroscientists Shani Gelstein and Noam Sobel of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, presents the first evidence that human tears contain pheromones, substances that influence behavior via smell. “Our experiments suggest that women’s emotional tears contain a chemosignal that reduces sexual arousal in men,” Sobel says.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News