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The researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have hit on something we can’t quit talking about. It seems that the smell of a woman’s tears reduces male aggression!

Researchers collected tears from women who had watched sad movies and then had 31 men who had just played an infuriating computer game — which unfairly deducted players’ points and provoked an aggressive response in them — sniff the tears. 

The men sniffed either saline solution or women’s tears before having swabs dabbed with the same droplets stuck to their upper lip.

Aggressive behavior in the form of retribution ended up being 43.7% lower in the men who got a whiff of the women’s tears compared to the saline solution.

Additionally, the men’s testosterone levels were measured before and after they sniffed the tears. The results showed that the men’s testosterone levels decreased after they sniffed the tears. This reduction in testosterone levels is associated with a decrease in aggression and suggests that male aggression towards women can be reduced by simply smelling their tears.

Why? The researchers believe that a chemical compound found in human tears creates a signal that reduces activity in two aggression-related brain regions in men.

We know that not all tears are the same. And this study adds to our understanding of the intricate ways in which human emotions can influence our behavior. It’s a reminder that tears, which are often seen as a sign of weakness, can, in fact, be a powerful tool for reducing aggression in men. As we continue to learn more about the complex nature of human interactions, studies like this will help us better understand the intricacies of our emotional responses. 

Noam Sobel, a lead professor of neurobiology at the university who had a previously published study, said of the findings, “The reduction in aggression was impressive to us; it seems real. Whatever is in tears actually lowers aggression…Basically, you are protecting yourself when you are vulnerable.”

But he went on to add, “We don’t think there is something special about women’s tears. We definitely predict chemical signals in men’s tears and children’s tears, too.”

Perhaps it isn’t surprising that there is a physiological reason why this is the case, but it is fascinating to see it confirmed in research: Tears are an incredibly powerful tool in human behavior!