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Why do women cry more than men?

McKinley Valentine — 1 min read
Why do women cry more than men?
Photo by Anastasia Taioglou / Unsplash

(on average, at a population level. At an individual this doesn't hold true).

You've probably already thought of three answers:
1. Hormones
2. Social pressures
3. They don't, men just underreport how often they cry (see 2).

Well! All three are a factor (the hormone is prolactin) but there's a fourth reason that I was very surprised by: skulls of people assigned male at birth generally have bigger, more capacious tear ducts than skulls of people assigned female. So... their tear ducts literally just take longer to fill up and spill over.

This fits with my anecdotal experience of easy criers, which is them saying "please ignore this, I'm not even that upset, my eyes just do this."

"According to research, women cry 30 to 64 times a year, whereas men cry just 6 to 17 times per year. Crying frequency was not affected by age, presence of allergies or hypertension or use of birth control medication, occurrence of emotional stress, attitudes toward crying, or any of the scales of the Differential Personality Questionnaire." More stats on crying frequency and duration

This piece was originally published in The Whippet #27 – subscribe to get the next one in your inbox!

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