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Women’s tears ‘are a turn-off for men’

By Steve Connor

Smelling the tears of a woman can quell a man's sexual desire, according to a study that determined female crying can have a direct chemical impact on male libido.

Scientists have found evidence to suggest that tears from a weeping woman contain a chemical signal that can have a subconscious effect on a man's sexual desire, even if he is not a witness to the crying.

Biologists have never been able to come up with a satisfactory reason for the emotional tears produced during crying, as opposed to the protective tears produced to keep the eyes moist and free of dust and debris.

“The functional significance of emotional tears remains unknown,” the scientists say in a report to be published in the journal Science.

However, following a series of experiments involving men who were asked to sniff tissues soaked in the tears of weeping women, the researchers now believe that they have found convincing evidence to support the idea that female emotional tears contain some kind of chemical signal, or pheromone, that can directly affect a man's emotional state.

One of the studies involved asking men to rate a series of photographs of women's faces according to their sadness or sexual attractiveness.

Professor Noam Sobel, who led the research team, said that a significant decline in the men's estimation of the women's sexual attractiveness only occurred after they had been exposed to the tears. Further studies showed that tears also resulted in a decline of testosterone in the men's saliva, as well as their own judgment about their state of sexual arousal.

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