Women are biologically wired to shed tears more than men. Under a microscope, cells of female tear glands look different than men’s. Also, the male tear duct is larger than the female’s, so if a man and a woman both tear up, the woman’s tears will spill onto her cheeks quicker. “For men and their ducts, it’d be like having a big fat pipe to drain in a rainstorm,” says Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco.
Boys often come up with mechanisms to calm themselves before they cross the precipice from tearing up to weeping. “Boys are taught over and over again not to cry: to scrunch their faces, to think about the Gettysburg address, to distract themselves,” says Dr. Brizendine, the author of the best-selling book, “The Female Brain.””