(CBS) Why do women cry? Because they feel sad, obviously.
But that might not be the only reason, according to a new study. It suggests that women's tears contain chemicals that send men a powerful if unspoken message:
Sex? Now? Fugeddaboudit.
Scientists at Israel's Weizmann Insitute had men sniff the tears of women who had cried while watching sad movies. As the men sniffed, they watched images of the women on a computer screen.
What happened? The tears didn't make the men sad. They didn't make them more empathetic. But they did make the women's faces less sexually appealing to the men.
And when the researchers tested the men's blood, they found that the "chemosignals" in women's tears triggered a steep decline in testosterone, a hormone that is related to sexual arousal.
What does it all mean? The findings seem to raise more questions than they answered.
"What is the chemical involved?" study scientist Noam Sobel, a professor of neurobiology at the institute, asked in a written statement. "Do different kinds of emotional situations send different tear-encoded signals?"
Sobel doesn't think women are the only ones whose tears send signals.
"We don't think there is something special about women's tears," he said. "We definitely predict chemical signals in men's tears and children's tears too."
The study was published in the journal "Science."