People deal with pain and grief in different ways. Some cry their eyes out, while others deal with it by shutting it out and locking it out basically. And it seems that men belong to the second group of people.
Some men say they have never cried in their life, others say that they’ve cried probably once or twice, and it was only during a major tragic event that affected them deeply.
Why is that? Why do men cry less than women?
Professor Ad Vingerhoets did research on this subject in order to understand better human tears. In his study, he found the ration of male to female tears. He discovered that women cry 30-64 times a year, while men cry 6-17 times.
Psychologist Georgia Ray explains that there are clear physiological and sociological reasons for this.
Namely, men cry less due to the lack of prolactin (a hormone found in emotional tears). Women naturally have higher levels of this hormone in comparison to men.
But, there is an obvious and cultural reason as well. According to Ray, social expectations and stereotypes discourage men from showing emotions and crying.
In other words, men have less of the hormone which makes humans shed tears and when they do cry, then society judges them for crying.
But, what’s the purpose of crying?
Human tears are complex and can come from many reasons – sadness, guilt, anger, remorse, happiness, relief, gratitude. But what makes them useful apart from washing your eyes?
Dr. William Frey has a theory that crying is part of the body’s natural release of toxins. He also suggests that emotional tears carry more protein than non-emotional ones and that’s why they have a healing effect on humans.
So, there you go. We all know for a fact that men indeed cry less than women but considering the healing process that happens when we cry – I suggest you grab a tissue and just let it all out.