The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?  (Read 13719 times)

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5336
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« on: 01/02/2010 18:15:44 »
Why do men rarely cry, whilst women seem to do so much more often (he asks delicately, treading on eggshells...) ?


 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #1 on: 01/02/2010 20:03:23 »
I'm not touching the part about women with a ten foot pole, but it is well known that Scottish men are far more sensitive and in touch with their emotions than their Sassenach counterparts.

 

Offline BenV

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1503
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #2 on: 01/02/2010 21:15:40 »
Could it be to do with empathy?  I vaguely recall some fMRI studies a short while ago that showed women were more likely to respond with a mirror pain response to watching people being hurt (I think the same study did show that women were more likely to respond with pleasure when watching someone deservedly punished though!)

I'll see if I can find it...
 

Offline Variola

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1063
  • Everyone should beware of The Pox...
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #3 on: 01/02/2010 22:36:41 »
Woman cry more because we have to put up with men...  :D

One possible reason is social conditioning, men are constricted by social exepectations and norms not to cry as much as women.

Another is Prolactin, a hormone found in tear ducts and mammary glands ( and other tissues) women naturally have a higher level of prolactin than men. Additionally to that, you have the obvious differenced between levels of oestrogen. progesterone and testosterone between men and women.

Men tend to be more left-hemisphere orientated, more logical and less creative than their right-brained counterparts, women. It is *thought that emotional awareness (and empathy) is tied in with right-hemisphere activity.
You only have to see two women deep in conversation to see empathy  :)
Two men talking.... well....er....lets just say it is usually a bit different!  :D



*there are opposing theories to this!


 

Offline Mazurka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 510
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #4 on: 02/02/2010 11:23:37 »
That question can only be asked by someone who has not broken some ribs (slipping on black ice) then fallen over (on ice) a second time!

On the emotional front, I  would imagine that social conditioning plays a big part - stiff upper lip, old chap! 
 

Offline omid

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1016
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #5 on: 02/02/2010 11:30:32 »
Its because men look very ugly and horrible when they cry while women look even more beautiful :-X
 

Offline Variola

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1063
  • Everyone should beware of The Pox...
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #6 on: 02/02/2010 13:16:26 »
Quote
So, this means that when a man cries it's rarer and, so, it's usually more meaningful. 
These two photos made an indelible impression on my mind when I first saw them 40 years ago.


Not at all. Paul 'Gazza' Gascoigne famously cried at a football match...not what I call meaningful.
It just means woman are more open that men, which in general we are.
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5336
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #7 on: 03/02/2010 12:08:06 »
I asked this because I was interested in your perspectives and, consequently, some interesting opinions have surfaced.

My own feeling is that this is a combination of nature and nurture.

From an evolutionary standpoint, crying is a display of weakness. Women tend to help other women - whether it's supporting them in childbirth or rearing, emotionally, empathetically and so on. Men also tend to adopt a protective stance towards vulnerable women and children.
 
So, if a women cries, indicating distress, she is therefore likely to acquire support and help from other men and women. In other words the outcome is likely to always be beneficial.

But if a man cries, this is an outward display of weakness; whilst this may elicit some sympathy and help from others, it also singles the man out to other men as a poor or weaker opponent, so some of the time (from an evolutionary standpoint) this will have a negative outcome for the crier.

Consequently, nature and nurture have contrived to make blokes less tearful.

This is my view - but what do you think?
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 11989
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #8 on: 03/02/2010 18:32:54 »
Excuse my French Chris but that's BS.

Both men and women cry, and it's all about circumstances.
You can cry when killing someone too, is that a 'manly weakness'?

F*ng stereotypes, the older I get the more bored I become.

Hell, we're all unique, and the bast** that tells me he never cried in his life is either brain damaged, or a damned bad lier.
 

Offline theplaniverse

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #9 on: 14/02/2010 19:36:39 »
*sigh* I can't believe I registered just to dispel this ridiculousness...

Men tend to be more left-hemisphere orientated, more logical and less creative than their right-brained counterparts, women.

The right-brain/left-brain myth is long dispelled and regarded only as a metaphor by today's neuroscientists. People do exhibit hemispheric dominance, but that has mostly to do with handedness and in no way manifests itself in someone's personality or skills being more right brain or left brain.

Women are generally known to have a lower pain threshold than men (I once saw a woman cry because she had broke a plastic fingernail!), and men almost consider it a sign of manliness to take the punishment (and they'll even brag about hurting themselves).

It's true that men are discouraged from showing weakness (which hurts them emotionally and sometimes even physically, but that's another thread). However, there has been numerous studies on sex and response to pain, most finding that although women are faster to report less pain, they have a much higher endurance for it. However, there seems to be no general consensus as to who has a higher tolerance overall. I could find studies supporting either argument.

As for a woman crying over a fingernail - silly anecdotal evidence. For every example you could bring up, someone else could bring up a counter-example of men being wimps about shots/the flu/etc. Neither have any real credibility.

Listen to newbielink:http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/21973030#21973030 [nonactive] ... tell me if a woman could ever do what he had to do?  Please, someone suggest that a woman could have done what he did (and don't talk childbirth, because what he did wasn't anything like childbirth -- women are made to endure childbirth for the most part)!

Again I call shenanigans. How about newbielink:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3606845.stm [nonactive] who gave herself a c-section with a kitchen knife, when her life wasn't even in danger (and only that of her unborn child)? Note the article says she wasn't the first to do this, only the first to have both mother and child survive. Once again, the fun thing about anecdotal evidence is that there are always counter-examples.


For the record, I don't mean this as a personal attack against anyone. Just remember that the culture in which you grew up has taught you well to conform to the stereotypes and thanks to your confirmation bias you're less likely to seek evidence against them.
 

Offline Variola

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1063
  • Everyone should beware of The Pox...
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #10 on: 14/02/2010 23:59:48 »
Quote
The right-brain/left-brain myth is long dispelled and regarded only as a metaphor by today's neuroscientists. People do exhibit hemispheric dominance, but that has mostly to do with handedness and in no way manifests itself in someone's personality or skills being more right brain or left brain.

No I cannot believe you joined it either...
Explain male/female brain organisation.
Assuming you can explain it, then what better way to explain in it laymans terms than in the metaphorical expression of hemisphere prevalence.
Oh and for your records, it is not "today's neuroscientists" who are representative of the profession as a whole. 


Quote
For the record, I don't mean this as a personal attack against anyone. Just remember that the culture in which you grew up has taught you well to conform to the stereotypes and thanks to your confirmation bias you're less likely to seek evidence against them.

Really? Well you sure aren't explaining anything in a succinct friendly manner or putting a clear cut case otherwise.

 

Offline OldDragon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 232
  • Heaven doesn't want me & the devil's afraid to.
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #11 on: 15/02/2010 12:38:14 »
I am sure that much depends on conditioning, Chris, and an individual's emotionality level. (Average woman's is in mid to high 70s; average man's is low to mid 70s, so not much in it.)

I've seen many men cry - including those others might consider hardened criminals, and I don't mean only when sentenced to another stretch at HM's pleasure, or from physical pain, and although the latter has brought tears to my eyes on times/caused my eyes to smart, during childbirth, and as I recall that, I was too busy turning the air blue to cry!  ;)  [:I]

 

Offline John Chapman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #12 on: 21/02/2010 02:26:14 »
I have experienced a strange phenominum which may shed some light/fog on the issue. I'm not particularly stoic when it comes to crying and certainly don't consider it 'unmasculine' in a man. However I find that when I have a bad cold I have a very much lower threashold for crying. I don't feel any sadder but the slightest thing can trigger tears. Last Christmas, for instance, I was watching Fireman Sam with my four year old grandson on my lap. When Sam rescued naughty Norman from a pothole I suddenly started blubbering. It surprised my grandson almost as much as it surprised me!

I'm assuming that being more likely to cry at these times is linked to the physiological changes that occur when one has a cold. Or is it just me? Could this correlate with physiological difference between the sexes?
« Last Edit: 21/02/2010 02:37:38 by John Chapman »
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #13 on: 21/02/2010 03:18:57 »
LOL! I've got a wonderful mental image of you bawling your eyes out while your grandson looks on in complete horror. Nice one.

I've never noticed the cold connection, but I do sometimes choke up a bit when singing - particularly Christmas Carols - which is a bit strange seeing as how I'm pretty much an atheist.
 

Offline OldDragon

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 232
  • Heaven doesn't want me & the devil's afraid to.
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #14 on: 21/02/2010 10:39:54 »
Interesting point about a cold/crying connection. When I have a cold, my eyes often stream/water, but without any emotional input, apart from frustration from constant dabbing them dry and cleaning my specs. Could it be that the effect of a cold on mucous production, coupled with some sort of emotional increase or input, results in what has been described. I've not seen the Fireman Sam production mentioned though, so can't comment on that as a cause. ;)
 

Offline omid

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1016
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #15 on: 28/02/2010 18:21:50 »
after a long research omid've found the very accurate answer to this question.
It's actualy related to the sperry's psychology for which he won a noble prize too.

The thing is that man uses their right hemisphere of the brain which is more to do with science, maths and stuff like that and women their left ones which is more to do with emotions feelings art creativity and stuff like that. ::)
 

Offline Jessica H

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 73
    • View Profile
    • Growing Southern
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #16 on: 01/03/2010 02:54:46 »
Another aspect is that women suffer depression more than men, so maybe women more prone to get sad in the first place?   (Whether they show it or not by crying.)
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5336
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #17 on: 01/03/2010 21:08:17 »
Another aspect is that women suffer depression more than men

That's interesting; I didn't know that; have you got a reference for that stat? I'd be interested to read a bit more about it.

Chris
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #18 on: 01/03/2010 21:44:25 »
Another aspect is that women suffer depression more than men

That's interesting; I didn't know that; have you got a reference for that stat? I'd be interested to read a bit more about it.

Chris

I'd be surprised if there is much difference between men and women, but I suspect that women are more likely to tell someone they could use some help, so the condition in men may often go undiagnosed. I suspect suicide rates might bear this out, although that is only a guess.
 

Offline Variola

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1063
  • Everyone should beware of The Pox...
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #19 on: 01/03/2010 23:28:24 »
Another aspect is that women suffer depression more than men

That's interesting; I didn't know that; have you got a reference for that stat? I'd be interested to read a bit more about it.

Chris

 If I remember rightly the figures for prescription of anti-depressants by gender show a higher rate per head of population than men, but conversely I think the suicide rate is higher for men.
If I get time I will have a mooch see what I can dig up,but if you are interested, statistics.gov.uk is a good place to start.
For depression itself, mentalhealth.org is a great resource

Quote
Who develops mental health problems?
 
Women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men (29% compared to 17%).This could be because, when asked, women are more likely to report symptoms of common mental health problems.
- Better Or Worse: A Longitudinal Study Of The Mental Health
Of Adults In Great Britain, National Statistics (2003)
 
Depression is more common in women than men. 1 in 4 women will require treatment for depression at some time, compared to 1 in 10 men. The reasons for this are unclear, but are thought to be due to both social and biological factors. It has also been suggested that depression in men may have been under diagnosed because they present to their GP with different symptoms.
- National Institute For Clinical Excellence (2003)
 
Women are twice as likely to experience anxiety as men. Of people with phobias or OCD, about 60% are female.
- The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report (2001)
 
Men are more likely than women to have an alcohol or drug problem. 67% of British people who consume alcohol at ‘hazardous’ levels, and 80% of those dependent on alcohol are male. Almost three quarters of people dependent on cannabis and 69% of those dependent on other illegal drugs are male.
- The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report (2001)
 
In general, rates of mental health problems are thought to be higher in minority ethnic groups than in the white population, but they are less likely to have their mental health problems detected by a GP.
- Inside Outside: Improving Mental Health Services For Black
 and Minority Ethnic Communities in England, National
Institute For Mental Health In England (2003)
 
One in four unemployed people has a common mental health problem
- The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report (2001)
 

Offline Jessica H

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 73
    • View Profile
    • Growing Southern
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #20 on: 02/03/2010 23:50:34 »
I wonder if fluctuating hormones might also have something to do with the depression rate, i.e. postpartum and menopause.  But I definitely agree that women are probably most likely to seek out treatment and that is probably throwing off the statistics.

I'm also curious- how is "emotionality level" measured?

 

Offline Tintin_Triton

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
  • Intellect without knowledge... is futile
    • View Profile
    • The Essays - Thoughts of mind
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #21 on: 03/03/2010 08:53:12 »
LOL...

Everyone cries.
I did not cry when my grandfather passed away, while I was perhaps the most attached to him.
I cried when I heard the song Vanilla Twilight from ocean eyes, by Owl City. The lyrics are too good.
Does that make me less emotionally sensitive?

NO!

Well, I think ( I hypothesize) everyone has a different level of emotional stress that they can handle. It erupts from memories, frustrations, wills, vanity, etc. So Roger Federer cried in 2009 Australian Open because he knew how close he was to winning, same goes with Andy Murray.
They cried because they had done a lot of hard work, yet it didn't just click for them. Mentally it has been programmed in our brains, that hard work makes success, so when it did not come for them, they cried to let go of their hyper stressed emotional level.

So Women and Men cry after they have reached a certain emotional stress.

How much is that? I think it can vary with individuals.
Physiologically, you all have drawn out quite a number of mechanisms.   
« Last Edit: 03/03/2010 08:58:07 by Tintin_Triton »
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 11989
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #22 on: 03/03/2010 10:38:29 »
Brainy stuff.
Variola is quite right in that we have different brains, males versus females. We might see it as Natures hard coded specialization to fulfill what respective needs we have, I mean, why else would it follow us from generation to generation?

And thank God that we are different :)
As I like too see it.

As for right and left hemisphere behavior. I remember when it was a very hot topic, and it still is I guess? But I think it's much subtler than that. Some differences I'm sure there are, but our brain is a fantastic plastic thing. Able to reconstruct itself if given a chance, not wholly, but at least use its 'plasticity' to relearn what neurological damage might have destroyed somewhere else inside it. And our cortex grows with learning too. We have just begun to look at the brain and its mysteries.

But as for emotional differences? Both sexes cry, although we do it at different times for different needs. But we share the same complex of emotions and therefore its only logical to expect us to be able to cry for the same things/feelings too, although, depending on how we grow up our outbursts may differ. And the same feelings might come from different stimuli. Where genes grip in and social factors drop out? That's a real tough one.
 

Offline yor_on

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 11989
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #23 on: 03/03/2010 12:50:40 »
Considering our male female qualities, why not check it out? And no cheating, you hear. Thy Brain Examined, Are Thy Under Disguise?
 

Offline cheryl j

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1460
  • Thanked: 1 times
    • View Profile
Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #24 on: 08/11/2011 07:19:21 »
I think its hormaonal as well - I cried more in my 20s than I do now that I am older. And it maybe related to neurotransmitters. When I took prozac I went for months or a year without crying, even in situations that would normally trigger it. Lack of sleep makes me more prone to tears. I've also noticed that crying makes me sleepy afterwards.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Why do women (and Andy Murray) cry, but not men?
« Reply #24 on: 08/11/2011 07:19:21 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums
 
Login
Login with username, password and session length