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crying as a reaction

35002_4206 at uwovax.uwo.ca 35002_4206 at uwovax.uwo.ca
Thu Aug 5 12:20:30 EST 1993

In article <1336.kdraeger at soils.umn.edu_POPMail.PC_3.2.2>, kdraeger at SOILS.UMN.EDU ("Kathy Draeger") writes:
>      I recently heard an interview with a scientist regarding crying. The 
> scientist had found that there was a great deal of adrenalin released in 
> the tears of females- more so than was found in males. There was no 
> speculation on why this adaption for adrenalin release is found 
> predominantly in females. Any suggestions??. I'm sorry that I can't 
> remember the name of the scientist.

I'm quite certain that 4 million years of gender differentiation -- both
in terms of physiology and the development of strategic roles -- have something
to do with it. At the risk of sounding sexist, men -- owing to our physique
and disposability (no big deal to the perpetuation of the species if our
numbers drop) -- have been sent by Mother Nature to do a lot of the `field
work' (whatever the hell that means). So what's this got to do with tears?
Well, image a group of proto-human men going out to hunt. Unbeknownst to the
rest of the party, the newest member of their proud brotherhood is a `crier'.
It wouldn't take long for this guy to turn on the tapworks. Hunting is ripe
with causes to cry: fear, confusion, embarrassment, anger, exhaustion, tragedy,
disappointment are all part of the ritual. Having a guy around who cries would
be extra baggage. (This would explain why men are often so insensitive)
You can add to this the fact that doing `field work' uses up a lot of adrenalin
-- which would also negate the need for tears.
As for crying amongst women, well, I can't see any reason for it not to happen.
Its perfectly healthy (though perhaps a bit disconcerting). I think men need to
become more sensitive. It seems we've dragged society into this primitive hunter
mindset that stoicism and displays of strength are the virtues of

Rob Coutant


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