Smell of women's tears reduces aggression in men

Women's tears contain chemicals that reduce aggression in men when sniffed, according to a new research study. The finding came from a study exploring the evolutionary reason behind why humans cry. Apparently, it's at least partially a defense mechanism to protect women from hostile males.

The research at the Weizmann Institute of Science involved a two-player game that would trigger aggressive behavior in the male test subjects. According to the scientists, "after the men sniffed women's emotional tears, their revenge-seeking aggressive behavior during the game dropped by about 44% – or nearly in half."

"These findings suggest that tears are a chemical blanket offering protection against aggression—and that this effect is common to rodents and humans, and perhaps to other mammals as well," says neuroscientist Noam Sobel.

From Smithsonain:

Though limited research has examined the realm of human chemosignaling, Sobel's lab previously observed that women's tears lowered men's testosterone levels, physiological indicators of arousal and self-reported sexual arousal.

"We knew that sniffing tears lowers testosterone and that lowering testosterone has a greater effect on aggression in men than in women, so we began by studying the impact of tears on men, because this gave us higher chances of seeing an effect," Weizmann Institute neurobiologist Shani Agron, lead author of the study, says in the statement.

"A chemical signal in human female tears lowers aggression in males" (PLOS Biology)