Crying Foul On The Stereotype: The Real Reason Why Men Don’t Cry!

why men don't cry crying

Another reason why men don’t cry? Maybe because they look goofy as hell like this guy when they’re crying. | Source: ShutterStock

Full disclosure: I was confused about the reasons why men don’t cry as often as we do, because I grew up with two older brothers who always cried more than I did. But that may have more to do with me being a heartless ice queen than with actual stereotypes. In any case, if you ever wondered why men don’t cry as much as we do–even while watching Marley and Me or The Notebook–it turns out there’s actually science behind it.

Researchers say that we cry most in times of despair, because it’s the body’s way of signifying that we need help. This part of our body is controlled by the parasympathetic nervous system, which is triggered by emotion.

The reason why men don’t cry as often doesn’t mean they don’t get emotional, though–it turns out that testosterone can actually slow this system down and reduce one’s likelihood or even ability to cry. Scientists and doctors support that claim with data that shows women who have sex changes to become men and also go through hormonal therapy to have more testosterone wind up crying a lot less than they did before taking the plunge into manhood. Similarly, if men have surgery and hormone therapy to become women, they often end up crying a lot more.

Of course, there are other reasons why men don’t cry that have nothing to do with hormones. Research says that one reason why men don’t cry as often as we do is because they don’t grow up seeing other men cry that often. Conversely, if you (or a guy) grow up in a home where people are open to crying often, you’re more likely to get weepy yourself.

Other reasons we cry, aside from awful splits, pain, the sinking feeling that Harry Styles may never marry you after all or really bad news? Our body makes us. Tears are the body’s natural way of lubricating and cleaning our eyes, so if you find yourself crying while cutting onions, seeing bright lights or in wind, it actually means your eyes are healthy. It’s a reflex! (This comes as a relief to me, because whenever it’s too breezy, people think I just got dumped.)

Another reason why men don’t cry–and why some of us try not to, either? Well, because we look kind of hideous afterward. (Especially me. Picture a pink frog, and that’s what my face looks like when I’m crying. So hot, right?) Turns out, there’s science behind that too: As for the red eyes, that’s caused by an increased blood supply to the eye when you’re crying. And for when you get stuffy and runny? Your tears drain into your nose when you cry, which stimulates mucus production, so on top of being sad, you get to also be really attractive and have to blow your nose.

Then there’s always the theory that the reason why men don’t cry is because they’re jerks. But we think they only applies to a few of them!

Do you think there are other reasons why men don’t cry as much as we do? Do you cry more than the men you know? Tell us in the comments!

This was the last thing to make me cry.

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Posted in: Body & Health
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  • Jenny Car

    Men AND women have testosterone, the amount of this hormone makes NO difference to an ability to cry.. The reason men don’t cry is because of society expectations. They have been TAUGHT that crying is unmanly, only weak men and woman cry. Biologically, HUMANS function the same, regardless of gender. Crying is a RELEASE of emotions that ALL humans need. People are doing humanity a disservice by continuing to believe this propaganda. Also, EVERY human has male and female energy. The female energy is emotional, nurturing, intuitive. Male energy is all about logic and action. So maybe THAT is why ‘men don’t cry’, it’s not a gender reaction, it’s about the male energy within us all. When we ‘work’ from our masculine energy, we are being logical, not emotional.

  • Matthew D

    He said they were always “men” before surgery, implying mentally in the first place since he mention they were female biologically. Learn how to read before you go on the defensive mode.

  • Kirsten

    Trans* men are NOT “women who have sex changes to become men”. They are MEN, and a sex change just makes the outside (body parts, secondary sex characteristics) match the inside. Furthermore, SRS (Sex Reassignment Surgery) does not inject the patient with testosterone – that’s Hormone therapy. “if men have surgery and hormone therapy to become women” Wow, Gurl. I would have thought that this website wouldn’t put so much importance on body parts. Totally cissexist. Can we use “male-bodied” person instead of “man” to describe a trans* woman? Thanks.

  • Elanor

    Normally I’m not one to take issue with how an article is worded, but seriously. Saying that transgender men who undergo sex reassignment surgery were women beforehand is extremely transphobic. They were men before the surgery, just biologically female. To you it might seem like a small language mistake that anyone might make, but believe me, it makes all the difference in the world.