When a study's central conclusion finds that "women's emotional tears contain a signal that reduces men's sexual excitement," skeptics will ask questions.
But the scientists responsible for a recently published study in the journal Science have done their homework and think they have it all figured out.
We found that merely sniffing negative-emotion-related odorless tears obtained from women donors, induced reductions in sexual appeal attributed by men to pictures of women’s faces. Moreover, after sniffing such tears, men experienced reduced self-rated sexual arousal, reduced physiological measures of arousal, and reduced levels of testosterone. Finally, functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed that sniffing women's tears selectively reduced activity in brain-substrates of sexual arousal in men.
Or, as the study's lead author Noam Sobel puts it, "This is the chemical word for 'No.' Or at least for 'Not now.'" Smooth move, Noam Sobel — smooth move.
But as the amazingly named the-scientist.com points out, the tears of men might kill boners as well — they just don't know yet, since "the only good criers who volunteered for the study were women." In related news, crowded screenings of The Notebook can cause men to go sterile.