Scientists have found that women are more emotional than men after all—but that depends on the emotion in question.
In what ways are women more emotional than men?
It's perhaps one of the most common stereotypes or tropes in the media. Television shows and movies always show how women are more emotionally expressive, while men are a little more stoic. Julia Roberts sighs and giggles over a diamond necklace, thrilled at the luxury, while Richard Gere looks on with a small hint of smirk on his face. The question, of course, is if this is just a stereotype, or if there's actually some truth to the matter.
The question may be a little too simple, however. Emotions, after all, can be both positive and negative. According to this study, women are more expressive when it comes to positive emotions. Men, in turn, aren't as expressive. However, men are more expressive than women when it comes to other emotions. Thus, the answer to the question isn't a clear-cut yes or no.
Women tend to smile more than men.
According to a new, large-scale research, there may be more differences between the sexes than we thought. The researchers recruited over 2,000 participants from the US, the UK, Germany, France, and China and asked them to watch advertisements for a number of common products. The participants understood that they would be videotaped through a web cam as they watched the advertisements on their own computers. If they felt comfortable with having their reactions to the advertisements recorded, the participants were included in the study.
An automated facial coding system allowed the researchers to study the facial expressions of both male and female participants. The researchers analyzed smiles, corner lip depressors, inner and outer brow raises, and brow furrows. Measurements included the frequency of each of these different facial expressions as well as their duration.
The findings show that women smiled more and for longer at the advertisements than the men did. Women also had more inner brow raises, though they did not raise their inner brows longer than the men did. These findings confirm long-held beliefs that women are more emotional than men, but they also show that this distinction isn't as simple as it seems.
Men tend to frown more than women.
Women may be more emotionally expressive than men, but only when emotions like happiness and sadness are involved. Women smiled and raised their inner brows more, and these expressions reflect happiness and sadness respectively. However, men were more likely to express anger. The findings showed that the men in the study displayed more brow furrowing than the women, and these brow furrows were longer in duration as well. Lip corner depressors were also longer in men than in women.
In general, the findings were the same across the five different countries included in the study. However, women smiled more than men did in the US, the UK, and Germany, but not in France and China. Still, in general, the findings held true.
So are women more emotional than men? Yes, when it comes to happiness and sadness. Anger, however, is more commonly expressed by men.
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