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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tears

As I learn from an article in yesterday's NYT, we may be doing more than expressing emotion when we cry. Our tears, according to striking new research, may be sending chemical signals that influence the behavior of other people. In several experiments, researchers found that men who sniffed drops of women’s emotional tears became less sexually aroused than when they sniffed a neutral saline solution that had been dribbled down women’s cheeks. While the studies were not large, the findings showed up in a variety of ways, including testosterone levels, skin responses, brain imaging and the men’s descriptions of their arousal. The researchers started with women because when they advertised for “volunteers who can cry with ease,” they could not find men who were “good criers,” readily able to fill collection vials. Several experts said the findings — besides potentially adding subtext to crying songs through the ages, from Roy Orbison to the Rolling Stones — could be a first step toward a breakthrough on a mysterious subject.

3 comments:

  1. Very interesting. But I cannot imagine of what kind the breakthrough may be. Some more evidence on our chemic nature is adding up to what we knew before or what some sharper mind presumed before. Subjective will become more objective. The hard core of the feminists nevertheless will continue to sustain the necessity to change the nature of man, because he should cry when they are tearing. Some of D'Annunzio's poems will become incomprehensible (for american scholars). Some (italian) scholars will argue there might be different levels of reaction on tears (omini, ominetti and quaquaraqua). Someone will start tests with tears of white women on black men and with black tears on white women. Someone else will try to milk the government for funds promising to design olfactory profiles of everyone, and at the end our computer will remind us that we should take a shower when we are busy and smelly. And they call that a breakthrough?

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  2. Evolution still is on the right way. Men mustn´t mount the crying woman but help her.

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  3. Spes ultima dea... I hope evolution will help us to distinguish better and better whether she is just crying to be helped (and I guess a low testosterone level is not the only effect of female tears! I am ready to bet my balls this time) or whether she is crying for a valid reason.

    "The researchers started with women because when they advertised for “volunteers who can cry with ease,” they could not find men who were “good criers,” readily able to fill collection vials."

    A woman should never do anything which she would disapprove in her daughter-in-law (even if evolution up to now helped her to do so).

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