Even though women are four times more likely to cry than men, it’s the fellas that reap the most benefits from a good cry. According to author and journalist Anne Kreamer, after women cry, “they end up feeling unhappy, like they’d done something taboo.” Men, on the other hand, felt better. Neurologist William Frey explains, “women cry an average of 5.3 times per month, while men only shed tears 1.4 times.”
But there’s a better reason for this than the go-to “women are just more emotional.” In her book, It’s Always Personal, Kreamer explains that we have higher levels of the hormone, prolactin, which controls the development of tear glands. Womens tear ducts are also anatomically different from male tear ducts, resulting in a larger volume of tears.
It’s fair to say that a gender double standard definitely exists when it comes to how males and females show their emotions. It’s socially acceptable for women to cry, whereas men are labeled as weak for displaying their feelings in the same manner. Kreamer found that criticism was one of the major reasons for tear-shed in women, even though the tears were just a manifestation of the real emotion: anger. But the fact that we aren’t able to control this emotion is what causes us to feel worse after a crying session.
The men in her survey, in contrast, said that after crying, “their minds felt sharper, the future seemed brighter, and they felt more physically relaxed and in control than before the incident.” If women stopped putting so much shame on themselves for crying in public, then maybe they’d be able to come out of a good cry with the same clarity and positive outlook that men apparently feel. And if we could just get rid of the double standard, then maybe we could have a world of relaxed, happier individuals, male and female alike.