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British men more likely to cry than their fathers

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17 Mar 2016

The nation’s men are two-and-a-half times more likely to shed tears in public than their fathers, according to a new survey


British men could be losing their reputation for having a stiff upper-lip, according to new research.

A survey suggests the nation’s men are happy to cry their eyes out, with the respondents being two-and-a-half times more likely to cry in public than their fathers.

The poll for Universal Channel found that more than three quarters (77%) of the 2,000 men questioned admitted to crying while watching television dramas.

However, 27% of them said they did try to hide it when they were getting weepy.

The death of a loved one was given as the most common reason for men to cry, followed by emotionally charged programmes.

Psychologist Donna Dawson, who carried out the poll ahead of the launch of US drama Chicago Med, said: “The main reason that modern British man is more likely to cry in public than his father is due to TV dramas that are more realistic, gritty and hard-hitting, as well as the last two decades of confessional and counselling-type TV programmes.

“These fictional shows tap into modern dilemmas and pull more directly on our emotions than TV dramas in previous decades ever did.

“Fictional TV shows are more likely to elicit tears because they allow a more pure, universal expression of grief – an emotional ‘unloading’ – which is not tainted by the conflicting emotions of guilt, regret, confusion and anger that often accompany specific real-life situations.

“Conflicting emotions can stop or inhibit us from crying over a situation.”

Nearly half of the men said they explain their tears by saying they have something in their eye. More than a third blamed yawning and less than a tenth of the men polled pointed the finger at nearby dust

Reasons for crying:

  • Something was in my eye – 46%
  • I was yawning – 35%
  • Lack of sleep – 20%
  • Allergies – 9%
  • I was thinking about something else – 9%
  • My contact lense is bothering me – 8%
  • It is dusty in here – 7%
  • I’m hungover – 3%

The research found that the average British man has sobbed in front of other people 14 times in his adult life.

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