To be honest, have you ever cried recently on hearing any of the terrible stories on the news or while watching a movie or even when you’re stressed at work? If your answer to any of these questions is in the affirmative, then you might be a woman; at least that is the general belief.
Women are the sensitive sex, they wear their emotions on their sleeves, they cry for no reason other than the need to have a good cry and they also cry in sympathy for others.
After a close observation of the various ethnic groups in Taraba State, Nigeria for instance, it is discovered that women cry mostly during funerals. They travel from long distances to mourn a loved one or even a stranger, and it is a taboo for a woman not to be seen crying at funerals.
It is also common to see mothers in Taraba crying at marriage ceremonies when giving their daughters out in marriage, probably in the absence of their deceased husbands or due to the thought of loneliness as a result of the separation from that daughter. The bride also cries because she is living her first home probably to a new environment.
Women also cry to gain sympathy as it is natural for them to draw support and comfort each time they are seen shedding tears.
It could also be a tool of manipulation. When a woman needs something or desires a favour from her husband, friend, children or associates, she may decide to use the weapon of tears.
Psychological studies have found that on average, women cry two to five times a month, or three to five times more often than men, according to research reported by psychologists Ivan Nyklicek, Lydia Temoshok and Ad Vingerhoets, all of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, in the book “Emotional Expression and Health” (Routledge, 2004).
The crying discrepancy is prevalent regardless of country, indicating different hormonal signals, though certain countries have a wider gap than others, pointing to cultural effects as well.
Typically, men’s roles in Western societies can be described as being independent, in control, and solving problems rationally, whereas women’s roles are seen as being dependent, weak, emotional, and relational, and it is believed that, when men do cry, they shed manly tears, which express pride, bravery, allegiance, triumph and defeat.
Basically, men and women cry over the same things, like the death of a loved one, romantic breakups and homesickness. Women may cry more over smaller events, like a fight, disagreement, or losing in a game, but remarkably, men cry relatively more often in reaction to positive events.
People’s professions may play a role in crying differences between the sexes. Women dominate nursing positions, which could present more emotional situations, whereas men tend to go into more technical fields, which likely present fewer opportunities to express emotion.
Regardless of where you are or what you do, differences in crying between men and women can also occur because of biology – more specifically, hormone levels. A study from 2012 found that women have 60 percent more prolactin, which is a reproductive hormone that stimulates the production of milk in women after childbirth, than the average male. Emotional tears are especially high in prolactin, which could explain why women cry more often than men.
Testosterone levels, too, can stop men from crying. Men who are treated with Prostate Cancer drugs see reduced testosterone levels and are more likely to cry because testosterone seems to have an inhibiting influence on crying.
Once you understand your emotional triggers, you’ll be in a much better place to determine how to work on reigning in your emotions.
When women cry or get overly emotional, it makes others feel uncomfortable. It gives a general view of them to people, especially men, that women are weak, incompetent or unable to handle the stress of a normal business environment. This, in turn, denies them of so many opportunities or hurt their promotion opportunities, especially when trying to make it to the Management or Executive level in their chosen career.