Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Men And Women Cry Differently

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (May 4, 2011, Read It And Weep, Crybabies), women are biologically wired to shed tears more than men.  While I’m sure that some men would love to take this information and use it to prove a point, I find it interesting that there is a physical and biological difference between men and women.
The actual cells of the tear glands look differently in women and men.  The tear duct is larger in a man which allows the men to hold more tear production than women.   Since a woman is not able to store as much tears, she is much more biologically inclined to shed tears than a man is.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article, there is research to suggest that testosterone helps raise the threshold between emotions and act of crying.  Since men have a greater amount of testosterone, it helps put the brakes on to keep a man from crying.

In an article in the NY Daily News, the tears of a women sends a chemical signal as the man gets close enough to sniff them  and the tears of sadness may temporarily lower his testosterone level.  The glands that secrete tears have receptors for sex hormones.  It has been hypothesized that the reason for this chemical signal is a biological way of lowering aggression in men.

In addition, we are taught in society that it is more okay for little girls to cry while we tell boys that big boys don’t cry.  In many societies, it is considered a sign of weakness to cry and people, who cry, especially boys, are picked on as a result.

Further Reading:
1)  When Is Crying Okay?
2)  Newborns And Crying Babies
3)  Biology Of Crying
4)  Stress Relief and Crying

Sources Of Information:
1)  Read It And Weep, Crybabies - Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2011
2)  The Science Behind Your Tears -, July 19, 2010
3)  Tears Are A Turnoff To Men - NY Daily, Jan 7, 2011

Blog Post & Images (c) 5/24/11 Don Shetterly - use by permission only

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