Women cry more than men ‘because of the media’

Reuters/Denis Sinyakov
Stereotypes suggest that men are more cold-hearted than women, and less likely to cry. Studies show this may be true.

According to a study by a reputable tear researcher in Holland, men cry less and for shorter durations than females. It has been discovered that men cry for an average of two to three minutes, compared to six minutes for women.

It is further suggested that men show less compassion because they are not presented as “emotional” in the media.

Professor Ad Vingerhoets, a clinical psychologist at Tilburg University, asked over 5,000 people in 37 countries about their emotional habits.

In Vingerhoets's observation, 66 percent of male participants cried for less than five minutes; 24 percent cried between six and 15 minutes. Meanwhile, 43 percent of women cried for less than five minutes, while 38 percent cried between six and 15 minutes.

The research also revealed that men are less likely to experience “extreme crying.” Women are twice as likely to cry for between 16 and 30 minutes. Females are also “likely to cry for more than an hour.”

Evidence gathered from the study states that while females cry between 30 to 64 times a year, men only cry between six to 17 times per year.

According to Vingerhoets's study, “at the sight of women crying, men often feel irritation and tend to ignore the crier.” His findings imply that men should be more sympathetic with their “more emotional” female partners when watching a romantic film with them.

However, Vingerhoet said: “The differences in the sexes could perhaps be explained to a large extent by the fact that women more often watch tearjerkers and read sentimental literature.”

Speaking to RT, Asha Dahaya – editor of Girltalk HQ, a daily news blog about female empowerment – said: “I think if the media had a more balanced perspective of human emotions, and didn't pigeon-hole women and men, perhaps this survey would have different results.”

Dahaya believes there is “a lot to learn” from Vingerhoet's study, as she argues there aren't enough “emotional males” on television or in the media for men to “relate to.”

“There is a segregated view of what is accepted as masculine and feminine in the media; it's because of the media,” she adds.

“You can't be what you can't see,” she added, suggesting that males will not cry whilst watching an emotional movie if men in the movie are not emotional.

There are many theories to suggest why men are less emotional than women. For instance, the Scientific Conjecture suggests that testosterone could inhibit crying, while the hormone prolactin – which women possess to a larger degree – might encourage it.

Esquire magazine, however, claims there are films that have the power to make men cry. Those include The Shawshank Redemption, Saving Private Ryan, and Babe. The films listed are not typical tearjerkers.

Nevertheless, a study by Richard Post – a researcher in human genetics at the University of Michigan – suggests that “women have shallower tear ducts,” implying that women’s tear banks are more likely to burst when they feel emotional.