Don’t Cry for Me…

We usually associate tears with sadness and misery, however new research has revealed that they may actually have an additional meaning. A recent study has suggested that the smell of female tears acts to lower sexual arousal in men. The discovery of this ‘chemosensory’ response and its ultimate purpose has sparked much debate in the scientific community.


A series of experiments were conducted which subjected males to a number of conditions affecting sexual arousal to varying degrees. The participants were shown a combination of erotic, neutral and sad films whilst having pads placed under their noses which contained either women’s tears, a saline solution or nothing at all. A mixture of questionnaires and brain imaging techniques (fMRI) were used to assess their levels of sexual arousal. Astoundingly, results from both the questionnaires and imaging data showed that when the men had women’s tears placed under their nose their sexual arousal decreased.

The underlying reason for this chemosensory response is now being hotly debated. Noam Sobel and his team who led the study believe this lowered arousal in males may act to lower sexual activity during menstruation, saying “We know that women tend to cry more during menstruation, when it’s not an effective time to conceive…” Others believe the response actually works to reduce aggression in emotional situations, with lowered sexual arousal being a mere side effect of this.

Discuss

Author

// Chris Brennan-Jones is a final year audiology student at Queen Margaret University

Creative Commons License Don’t Cry for Me… by Chris Brennan-Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

References


Other Articles

Obesity Weighing Down Your Grades?

  We all know that childhood obesity can have a negative effect upon the health of children, but new research completed at the University of Strathclyde (in collaboration with the Universities of Dundee, Georgia and Bristol) has found that obesity in adolescent girls is associated with lower academic attainment levels throughout their teenage years . The comprehensive study … More


Science Fiction

Science fiction is all about using cinema, TV, books and comics to make the seemingly impossible possible. It may seem ridiculous to believe that in the near future you will be able to enter people’s dreams to steal their secrets or see a fully functional time machine made out of a DeLorean. In fact, the … More


Going Viral

The debate is still hot on whether viruses are alive or not. Like acrobats on a wire, these tiny entities walk the line between living and nonliving – although they are unable to metabolise, they still do an impressive job reproducing and infecting organisms. And they don’t just stop there. Sometimes, out of nowhere, viruses … More


Going Sour: A New Explanation for the Mass Dino Death

The undying mystery of the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction – the one where the dinosaurs famously perished – has gained another plot-thickening twist. A Japanese research team now claims to have shown that acid rain, with a horrifyingly low pH of 0-1 (that would be more acidic than the gastric acid in your stomach), could be … More


Discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Fields marked with an * are required. By commenting you consent to us placing cookies on your computer.





You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>