Myths of Male Emotion

By Ryan Thomas. Co-Founder and Host of the podcast and sexuality focused, personal growth company, Modern SexTalks.

emotions_imagesDo you like to read? Or do you like to listen. You can listen to the interview related to this article here, or you can read for yourself…if you like that sort of thing.

Men are logical. Women are emotional. This is the bullshit that is thankfully on it’s way out. But there is still a lingering stigma that men are more logical and women are more emotional. And this kind of thinking still gets us in trouble.

As human’s we need to generalize and simplify. We see a lion, we run the fuck away. But that oversimplification has resulted in the belief that men have no emotion, and are either just logical or more logical than women.

Men are raised to be strong, and studies routinely show that baby boys are left to cry longer than female babies. This suggests that boys emotion is less prioritized and accepted. As such, men learn to repress their emotions, creating a whole slew of issues from violence, to crime, to addiction to suicide.

Anytime a guy shows some emotion, he’s told he’s weak…wouldn’t you want to hide your emotions if that was case? Especially if potential mates are always looking for strength. Wouldn’t that make you a bit angry and aggressive if your emotions are told they’re unimportant?

When men are sad, they commonly resort to anger, because sadness is weakness, and anger is power.

And it’s assumed that women are overly emotional. That their emotions make them think less logically than men, and that they’re crazy for having their emotions. So they’ll succumb to societal pressure, and act “crazy” because that’s what a woman is. She’s just “emotional.”

If you were frustrated about something, or needed help, and anytime you asked for support or help from people, and they just ignored you…wouldn’t that drive you a little batshit crazy? I’ve definitely had my fair share of hissy fits when I asked for help or offered an opinion and people just ignored me.

When women are angry, they often resort to crying or sadness, because women aren’t allowed to be angry; it’s not ladylike.

I want to challenge this “crazy” myth a.k.a. bullshit. Yes, I’ve met my fair share of “crazy” women. But get this…Ever meet a guy who get’s into a fight because some other guy looked at him the wrong way? I think that’s fucking crazy.

Ever meet a guy who, despite all the facts slapping him in the face, still refuses to admit he was wrong/made a mistake/apologize? That’s crazy and weak.

Ever met a guy who’s so overwhelmed with love that he stalks a woman? That’s crazy. Rape? That’s crazy.

So where do we get this notion that men are so much more logical than women?

Honestly, it’s not emotion that’s the problem. It’s a lack of emotional maturity. Emotional reactivity is “crazy;” not emotionality.

Whether you’re a man OR a woman, if you can’t handle your emotions, or recognize your “triggers,” accept responsibility for them, and communicate your concerns then to be honest, it indicates you need to grow some emotional intelligence and maturity.

Since we as a culture already accept that women are emotional, let’s take a look at men. A recent interview with Dr Duana Welch (listen to the full episode below), she tells all kinds of science that indicates that men are, in a lot of ways in romantic relationships, more emotional than women.

Here’s the science:

1) Men tend to fall in love faster than women. And they’re usually the first ones to say “I love you.” That’s right. In the studies Dr Welch refers to, men were the first to say the 3 big words.
The science here is that in our caveman days, and in our caveman brain that is thousands of years old, women needed men’s commitment.
They needed men to protect and provide resources while they were nursing a very dependent child to a point of autonomy. How did women get men to commit? Through love/emotion.

2) Men experience love at first sight. I wasn’t hugely surprised with this one. I’ve definitely felt love at first sight. It didn’t go anywhere (that bitch. SHE BROKE MY HEART!)…all joking aside, this was another piece of scientific evidence that suggests that men are highly emotional.

3) Men take longer to recover from relationships. Men have reportedly taken a lot longer to recover from the pain and grieving process from a break-up. Women also tend to be the ones who call the relationships off. Men endure more heartache and longer than do women. And this leads into the next piece of interesting evidence.

4) Men tend to remarry more often than women do. Despite the social stigma of men not really wanting to marry, statistics have shown that men are a lot more likely than women, to remarry following a divorce or death of a spouse.
If a man doesn’t want to marry (according to social stereotypes), and is usually able to fend for himself financially, then why would he marry the first time? And why would he marry a second time? Love…it’s all love, bro.

5) Men stonewall because they actually feel too much. The science that Duana speaks of (referring to Dr John Gottman) demonstrated that women can argue, and look like there’s a lot of energy and yelling, but their heart rates will putter along at 72 bpm (beats per minute).

A man, on the other hand, will react to the argument differently. His heart rate will fluctuate drastically, and once it hits 100 bpm, he (and women too…they just don’t hit that level as quickly as men) will no longer be able to register anything that is said. He’s just waiting for the argument or the “threat” to be over. He is not actually able to communicate what is on his mind.

So if you want to prevent stonewalling, make sure that when you start a conversation around a touchy subject, it’s started with kindness. It’s all about the set-up.

6) Women recover from stress faster. Cortisol, the stress hormone, affects oxytocin which is important for breast milk production. In our cave days, if a threat came around and then left, women needed to be able to recover from the stress, so their breast milk could continue to produce to feed the babies.
Men on the other hand take longer to come down off of stressful events. They need to remain vigilant in case the threat decided to return. As such, men take longer to recover from increased cortisol.

There you have it. Six scientifically proven characteristics of men that indicate that they are in fact just as, if not more emotional than women. So no more discussion around men not being emotional. Instead, let’s start showing some support.

If you’d like to hear the full episode, click here and listen to Dr Duana Welch spit some knowledge at you.

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