What Drives the Smile and the Tear: Why Women Are More Emotionally Expressive Than Men

Emotion Review 7 (1):22-29 (2015)
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Abstract

In this article we examine gender differences in nonverbal expressiveness, with a particular focus on crying and smiling. We show that women cry and smile more as well as show more facial expressiveness in general, but that the size of this gender difference varies with the social and emotional context. We interpret this variation within a contextual framework (see also Brody & Hall, 2008; Deaux & Major, 1987; LaFrance, Hecht, & Paluck, 2003). More specifically, we distinguish three factors that predict the size of gender differences in emotional expressiveness: gender-specific norms, social role and situational constraints, and emotional intensity. These factors interact in different ways for smiling and crying.

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