1. HORMONES MAKE TEAR PRODUCTION HARDER FOR MEN, EASIER FOR WOMEN.
Think men don’t cry as often because they’re “strong” or lack emotion? Well, you can’t cry if you don’t have the tears to do it. Before puberty, girls and boys cry in equal amounts, and for pretty much the exact same reasons. When puberty hits and we get our hormones on (testosterone for the fellas and prolactin for ladies), our ability to PRODUCE tears changes. Testosterone may inhibit tear production in men, while prolactin actually makes crying easier (and encourages it) for women. Though the experience of feeling emotion may be exactly the same between the sexes, men’s bodies are simply less likely to produce tears as a response (while women’s bodies may produce them automatically, especially in response to stress). This hormonal difference also means that in situations where men & women BEGIN to cry, men may be able to shut down the reflex more easily, whereas women may have a much harder time holding them back. Women with especially high prolactin levels (preggers, post-preggers, hormonally imbalance like me, etc) may find they can cry almost indefinitely when emotions run high. I call it “leaking”, lol. In general, women are QUEENS of the “good, long cry”. Women may produce more tears than normal when depressed/anxious because of higher levels of tear producing stress hormone.
For men trying to understand a female cry response, it’s kind of like a boner for your eyeballs: sometimes it happens for no reason and you can’t shut it off right away EVEN when you desperately wanna. That’s not to say women are emotionally irrational or somehow unable to function when crying: we just have a physical response to emotion that makes us more likely to express it with tears. Tears (or lack of tears) are also NOT an indicator of depth of feeling or lack of emotion: a man can be devastated and simply be unable to produce tears (or will produce just a few). A woman can be mildly upset or stressed and cry whole heartedly.
Huh. That explains some things.
Reblogging to add more sources: Is it true that women’s tears contain an enzyme that can be released only by crying, meaning they are quicker to cry under emotional stress?
This is fucking incredible
things make sense now and I will no longer apologise for crying