Much of what modern science does, and why, baffles me, so I suppose it shouldn’t be too surprising to learn about studies which show that women’s tears have been shown to reduce male sexual arousal. It’s the scent of the tears apparently, rather than any visual cues that might affect his testosterone level – and only real tears, rather than saline, will do.
While the researchers plan on studying the effect of men’s tears on women and men, their reduction of sexual arousal to hormone levels and brain activity in the rather strange environment of sniffing tears while looking at a series of female faces seems a little dubious, as does the notion that a sympathetic response to someone crying may be now read as an involuntary physical response on the part of men.
Given the small sample (24 men took part in the study) it isn’t particularly scientifically relevant, but it seems to make good news – plenty of opportunity for one-liners about having found “one good man crier” or talking about how red noses are already enough of a turnoff for men.
I haven’t found an article yet which poses the question of whether a crying woman might actually want a man to find her sexually attractive or not. Funny that.