Crying is a normal physical reaction to a variety of emotions, and just about everybody cries at some point or another. But do women really cry more than men, as most people think? Up until puberty, boys and girls cry in equal amounts. When adolescence hits, the rise in testosterone in boys causes the crying to lessen, while rising estrogen levels in girls might bring them to tears more often. Researchers estimate that once they reach adulthood, women cry approximately four times as much as men -- about 64 times a year for women as opposed to 17 for men [source: TheAge.com].
But that doesn't mean it's because women are moody messes; it may be due to a protein named prolactin. Prolactin, which also controls breast milk production, is present when someone cries emotional tears. The protein gets the endocrine system flowing, making people more prone to crying. Women may possess as much as 60 percent more prolactin in their bodies at any given time compared to men [source: Women's Health].
Another reason for men's stoic nature -- or at least their tendency to shed fewer tears -- may be that men sweat more than women. When men sweat, they may release some of the toxins that are found in emotional tears, lessening their need to cry. Men also have smaller tear glands than women, so when they do cry, they cry fewer tears than women do. And while men tend to save their tears for major losses or disasters, women are more apt to also cry when they're tired, stressed out or frustrated. Once middle age rolls around, things may change -- as hormones once again begin to shift, men may cry more and women less [source: Women's Health].
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