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Aggressive Men Also Break Down: Study Proves They Can't Stand Tears

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By Jaden Francis - - 5 Mins Read
An abusive man screams at a frightened woman.
Male aggressive behavior | Shutterstock

Did you know that there's a link between the scent of female tears and a drop in male aggression?


Recent research has found that tears actually contain chemical signals that can reduce aggressive behavior in both humans and rodents. It's pretty amazing, right?


These findings suggest that tears might play a protective role by calming down the neural networks that are responsible for aggression.

Insights into Emotional Tears

Emotional tears once thought to serve no practical purpose other than providing eye lubrication, have long fascinated scientists, including Charles Darwin.


However, current research has unveiled that mammalian tears, including those shed by humans, contain chemical signals that act as social cues, including a compelling reduction in aggression.


For instance, studies on female mice have shown that their tears contain signals capable of disabling intermale aggression by suppressing the activity within the male's aggression brain networks.


Similarly, subordinate male blind mole rats apply tears to themselves as a defensive measure, mitigating the aggression displayed by dominant males.


Inspired by these remarkable discoveries, a team of scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel conducted experiments to explore whether sniffing human female tears could mimic similar effects observed in rodents.


The objective was to assess whether this behavior could reduce aggression in men and influence their brain function.


As prior research had already shown that sniffing tears decreases testosterone levels, and considering the substantial impact testosterone has on male aggression, the scientists examined the effects of tears on men, maximizing the chances of detecting significant results.


Woman in tears beside a bed
Crying woman | Claudia Wolff/Unsplash


While human tear chemosignaling evidence is limited, a previous study involving some researchers in this investigation had already revealed that women's tears contain an odorless chemical signal.


When inhaled by males, this signal diminishes self-rated sexual arousal, physiological measures of arousal, and testosterone levels.


The study initially involved the collection of tears that were shed due to emotional reasons from six donors who were between the ages of 22 and 25.


These donors were kept in isolation and made to watch sad film clips in order to produce tears.


Following this, twenty-five male participants participated in a two-person monetary game, assuming their opponent was another human.


However, it was a computer algorithm. The game aimed to elicit aggression in the male participants towards their perceived cheating opponent. They were allowed to inflict financial losses without any personal gain.

Exploring Male Toxic Behavior

Among the various forms of passive-aggressive behavior displayed by males, "brooding silence" and "simmering resentment" are particularly prevalent.


Passive-aggressors feel averse to perceived attempts at control or influence over their lives. Instead of directly addressing their dissatisfaction, they harbor resentment and employ covert methods to exert aggression, resistance, and control.


By staying silent, the passive-aggressor avoids conflicts and eludes responsibility. To act passive-aggressive, individuals often say one thing while doing the opposite or fail to follow through on their words.


These tactics falsely relieve the pressure on the passive aggressor, who hopes that deliberate procrastination and delays will make the issue go unnoticed, minimizing the chances of further questioning.


Also Read: 15 Sure Fire Signs You Might Be Dating an Insecure Man


Manipulating time provides a sense of covert power and can frustrate and exasperate others due to their lack of accountability.


To justify their inconsistent behavior, passive-aggressors commonly resort to different reasons, whether genuine or fabricated, to rationalize their shortcomings.


Moreover, these excuses are intended to shift the focus away from themselves, effectively diverting attention from their actions. It is important to note that they rarely offer potential solutions to rectify the situation.