Are you tired of hearing how women are more emotional than men? Some intriguing research* suggests this is not the case.
It may be that men are just better at stuffing their emotions. This is likely not a surprise to many of you.
It’s easy to blame the whole “big boys don’t cry” mentality, but the issue runs much deeper. For much of history, men had to be tough so they could do tough things. Hunting food requires being able to suppress your emotions. Not just the whole “shooting Bambi” thing, there’s the very real difficulties and dangers of stalking food with a bow when there are other animals who see you as food. Then there’s the reality that taking an emotional time out during a war is a good way to take a permanent time out from life. These things have certainly shaped how men expect other men to behave. I would expect God to have wired us so we could do and survive these things; things women have not traditionally had to do.
The one emotion men seem to feel far more strongly than women is a reaction to heart-warming things. I find this interesting because it wouldn’t be an issue during things like war or hunting. In one study* fifteen men and fifteen women watched various videos while skin electrodes measured their physiological responses. For videos that were blissful, exciting, or funny, men showed slightly stronger emotional reactions than women. But for heart-warming, men showed twice the response women showed.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I always tear up when the underdog overcomes adversity.
* Most of what I can find is small sample sizes and not yet reproduced. But a growing body of research is bringing common assumptions about men’s and women’s emotions into question. This news article mentions the study that found men were more moved by heartwarming scenes.
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