‘If you’ve never eaten while crying you don’t know what life tastes like.’ Goethe
In many cultures, especially for men, crying is considered to be undignified and infantile behavior, except in certain specific circumstances such as mourning the loss of a close friend or relative. After adolescence, men shed tears much less often than women. On average, men cry once a month and women about five times a month, especially before and during the menstrual cycle. Men not only cry less often but also for shorter periods at a time, 2-4 minutes compared to about 6 minutes for women. And they sob less too, in only 6% of cases versus 65% for women.
There are in fact three types of tear, two of which are rather uninteresting: basal tears which lubricate and protect the eye and reflex tears which flush out irritants such as smoke particles or onion vapors. The third type of tear is, of course, shed in response to emotion, and differs from…
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