Women's Tears Turn Men Off: Testosterone Study Explains Why

Do you enjoy making people cry? No, not at the office, silly, in the bedroom. A person who gets turned on by tears - and maybe the emotional intensity that comes after making nice with his/her "victim" - is called a dacryphiliac. As long as this sort of play is consensual, there is probably no need to be concerned. However, Dr. Ian Kerner, a New York City sex therapist, cautions that all fetishes and sexual compulsions have the potential to become pathological.
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What message is she sending? (istockphoto)

(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."