Study Finds That Smelling Women’s Tears Can Reduce Aggression in Men

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Any stable human being would have some sort of reaction to tears, but that response may be more significant than you thought. According to a study published in PLOS Biology, smelling women’s tears can reduce male aggression by as much as 40%. The researchers believe that this concept may extend to all human tears, but that hypothesis hasn’t yet been tested.

What This Means

This revelation could prove that tears are an evolutionary development for human survival. Neurobiologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel Noam Sobel explains, “These findings suggest that tears are a chemical blanket offering protection against aggression—and that this effect is common to rodents and humans, and perhaps to other mammals as well.”

Other Smells That Change Human Behavior

As it turns out, tears aren’t the only odor humans can subconsciously pick up on. People can smell fear and anxiety, as well as emotional distress. Similarly, dogs can detect odors of happiness and fear, showing that this ability extends to other species as well.

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Researchers intend to continue this study and push it even further by testing whether or not babies’ tears have the same results as adults’ crying.