Women are often more emotionally controlled than men and are usually built closer to the water. As you can often see, especially in relationships, men and women simply work differently.

During a heated argument in a relationship, it can sometimes happen that you get into each other’s hair until someone cries. Especially when women cry, this is supposed to trigger a biochemical process in men that makes them less aggressive and calm down a little. A series of researchers, led by Shani Agron of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, tossed out this theory and began testing it on rodents.

After a certain effect could be demonstrated in males after smelling a female’s tears, the research now intensified on humans. To do this, six women in their mid-twenties, who easily get tears in their eyes, were asked to watch sad films. They collected their tears in test tubes. As a comparison, the researchers ran saline solution over the cheeks and caught it as well.

Next, 31 men were asked to play a game designed to increase their aggression levels. The game gave the impression that they had been cheated, as aggressive behavior the men could take revenge on the perpetrator.

For the study, the men who were already loaded and felt cheated were now given female tears to smell. The result: aggression fell by 40 percent. This suggests that social chemosignals such as tears can influence human behavior. Brain regions associated with aggression were less active when men smelled tears. The researchers repeated the experiment under an MRI to check the response of the individual brain regions.

In doing so, the researchers confirmed the result of previous studies with similar results in animals, suggesting that similar mechanisms could also exist in humans. The research team’s conclusion: “We suspect that tears are a mammal-wide mechanism that provides chemical protection against aggression.”

However, it should be said that the effect is not alone. The chemical impulse is less powerful than the visual and auditory signals of crying, which can awaken a protective instinct in a man.

Sources: RND, study, journals

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