A report in the journal Science found that chemicals found in women’s tears may give off signals that reduce men’s sexual desires. Despite the fact that tears are odorless, the researchers from the Weizmann Institute found that men who sniffed tears experienced a decrease in their testosterone.
“This study raises many interesting questions,” said Noel Sobel, one of the researchers who worked on the project. “What is the chemical involved? Do different kinds of emotional situations send different tear-encoded signals? Are women’s tears different from, say, men’s tears?”
The study was done in two parts. During the first part, scientists showed sad movies to women and collected their tears. Afterward, a group of male volunteers sniffed the tears or a saline solution that acted as a control, and were shown images of women’s faces on a computer screen. Their sexual arousal levels were measured, and researchers found that those who had sniffed actual tears were less “turned on” than those who had sniffed the saline.
While tears may turn guys off, it seems that men’s sweat has the opposite effect on women. According to a study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, women who smelled chemicals in men’s sweat experienced a boost in their level of cortisol, a hormone associated with sexual arousal.