Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Sex Differences in Crying

  • Guy MadisonEmail author
  • Edward Dutton
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3858-1



Differences between males and females in the frequency and duration of increased tearing of the eyes and other associated behaviors in response to internal emotional states.


It is well established that, apart from reacting to chemical or physical irritants, adult females shed tears more often than adult males. This crying occurs in response to emotional states, sometimes induced by external events. Here, we will examine the extent of this sex difference and its possible explanations.

Sex Differences in Frequency and Duration Across the Life Span

Infants produce cries from birth but seem to weep only after 3 months of age. Because the function of signaling distress is reasonably the same throughout infant-...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Umeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Ulster Institute for Social ResearchLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Steven Arnocky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and SciencesNipissing UniversityNorth BayCanada