The researchers accidentally happened upon the evidence that women’s tears make men feel as if they have taken a cold shower.It would be interesting to see what a sociopath's reaction to emotional tears is. I realize this is completely anecdotal, but whenever people cry around me I either basically ignore it, reflexively cry (the same way I would reflexively cough) or get angry at them if they are crying as some sort of remonstrance for my bad behavior. I'd like to see how that fits into the evolutionary theory of tears, or maybe the evolutionary theory of sociopaths.
They had assumed chemical signals from tears would trigger sadness or empathy in others. But initial experiments found that sniffing women’s tears did not affect men’s mood or empathy, but “had a pronounced influence on sexual arousal, a surprise,” Dr. Sobel said.
Why women’s tears would send a message of “not tonight, dear” is puzzling. Some experts suggested the tears could have evolved to reduce men’s aggression toward women who are weakened by emotional stress. The studies did not measure the effect on aggression, although future research might, Dr. Sobel said. Another thought, he said, is that the effect of tears evolved in part to coincide with menstrual cycles.
The research, published on Thursday in the journal Science, could begin to explain something that has baffled scientists for generations: Why do humans, unlike seemingly any other species, cry emotional tears?
Reading about these types of studies makes me realize how poorly we can explain even something so fundamental and basic as humans crying emotional tears. Perhaps because we know so little about how our world functions, it is tempting to take some new discovery and make logical leaps to explain myriad behaviors. This happens frequently with socio experiments, where each new discovery leads to a new theory of the origins and causes of sociopathy. It is a dangerous practice to draw unwarranted conclusions from limited evidence, an example of scientific hubris. As one tear scientist warned regarding the recent findings: it would be “premature to speculate about the evolutionary function” of chemo-signaling in tears, adding: “I have no doubt that it affected sexuality as they report, but I would be very surprised if it doesn’t turn out to affect other emotions in other contexts. Maybe it’s affecting some deeper, more fundamental psychological process that drives the effect that they’re reporting.”