Tears often trigger feelings of empathy between people, and women sometimes use them to convince their partners to please them. A recent study shows that the smell of women's tears can reduce aggression in men.
Researchers found a decrease in aggression by 40% in men who smelled women's tears. According to Smithsonianmag, scientists say this discovery, published in the journal PLOS Biology, may apply to all human tears. It is assumed that tears in general provide protection against aggression and that this effect is shared by rodents, humans and mammals.
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Tears can lower testosterone levels
Study co-author Noam Sobel is a neuroscientist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. He previously noted that women's tears reduce men's testosterone levels, physiological indicators of arousal, and sexual arousal. "We knew that sniffing tears lowers testosterone levels, and that lowering testosterone has a greater effect on aggression in men than in women, so we started by studying the effects of tears on men because it gave us a better chance of seeing an effect," the presenter said. study author, neuroscientist Shani Agron from Israel's Weizmann Institute.
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People can perceive a range of odors and chemicals emitted by other people that provide social cues, often unconsciously. Previous research shows that people smell fear and anxiety, and evidence supports the idea that sweat can also convey emotional information. Chemical communication occurs between species, just as dogs pick up human chemical signals that indicate happiness or fear.
Men at 43.7% are less aggressive after sniffing tears.
The study authors collected tears from female donors aged 22 to 25 years. Twenty-five male volunteers then played a video game designed to incite aggression. Participants played against an opponent using a computer algorithm, but were forced to believe that it was a human player who had been duped. The scientists measured the males' aggressiveness by counting the number of times they decided to strike back at their opponent. In the second part of the experiment, 26 men played the same game while under an MRI scanner that monitored their brain activity.
In both experiments, participants sniffed either a woman's tears or a saline solution, both odorless and not told what they were inhaling. Males showed less aggressive behavior on 43.7% after the smell of female tears compared to saline. What's more, according to Scientific American, two areas of the brain associated with aggression and decision-making showed decreased activity after smelling tears. They also increased connections to the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for emotion and smell.
Can tears reduce domestic violence?
Discoveries about the power of tears are based on similar phenomena observed in animals. However, these chemicals may not have much impact on adult interactions, as Minna Lyons, a psychologist at the University of Liverpool, told The Guardian: "The tears of a domestic violence victim will do little to reduce a child's aggression." criminal. The social context of crying is extremely complex, and I suspect that reducing aggression is just one of the many potential functions of tears.”