Gender And Emotional Response
My initial interest was to answer the age-old adage that women are more emotional than men in a variety of instances. I surveyed seventy-eight individuals from undergraduate classes. The participants were given a survey in which they were asked to read four case studies; two involving potentially "negative emotions (i.e. loosing a family pet, and infidelity), and two potentially "positive situations (i.e. a wedding day, and meeting a birth-family for the first time). Responses were recorded on the survey when the participant answered seven standard questions regarding the case studies. It was hypothesized that women would give higher scores than men regarding the case studies. What I found was that women did respond significantly more emotional in the "positive cases, but were not significantly emotional in the "negative cases. These results implied that gender stereotypes might have an effect in the way that men and women perceive emotion.
Previous researchers have tried to clarify the topic of whether women are more emotional than men by simply asking the question whether they show emotion differently than men; and if they do, what is the difference? Another question is whether women are more inclined than men to outwardly express their emotions (such as crying) at any given moment, and what types of stimuli are required to warrant crying?
One study by Stober (2003) found that women showed signs of self-pity more than men, meaning they feel sorry for themselves more often than do their male counterparts. This could imply that women internalize their emotions more than men, keeping their hurt feelings inside and in turn women feel sorry for themselves.
Other researchers have attempted to solicit the emotional responses of women and men who were watching violent and sad films (Koukounas & McCabe, 2001; Oliver, Weaver, & Sargent, 2000). In these particular studies researchers found that when women were wa