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September 29, 2017 8:55 pm  #1

Are females more prone to crying in pain?

Anyone familiar with the idea that women allegedly have lower pain tolerance than men? I've recently been watching a series of videos on YouTube called Women Sports Injury Compilation. Damn, there's like 52 videos so far - think this is a fetish in itself! I barely watch sports, but it seems to me that female athletes tend to cry significantly more after injury, a lot of the time bursting into tears immediately after the injury. In contrast I've seen male athletes mostly just grimace and roll around in pain. I'm sure a lot of this is nurture - but how much of it can be nature?

Speaking of athletes, I'm interested in hearing accounts of our more sporty members, especially the females (looking at you, Truffle). Have you encountered occasions where a woman cried after getting hurt during sports? Has anyone come across men who cried for the same reason?

Ugly crying is pretty crying

October 1, 2017 6:49 am  #2

Re: Are females more prone to crying in pain?

I can't exactly answer to the sports part but I can answer the question what happens later. I have seen male and female crying with a serious injury. I pay more attention to males but I think what I saw was about even. Women tend to be more hysterical, they cry out loud, men are more groaning and covering their face. Men apologize for crying and don't feel comfortable, women don't.
Of course that is very general, more like a tendency and I also saw a woman sob silently into her hands.


October 1, 2017 6:50 pm  #3

Re: Are females more prone to crying in pain?

That's interesting. Do you work or follow any hobbies in places where injuries are common, or are they random observations?

Ugly crying is pretty crying
     Thread Starter

October 2, 2017 6:33 pm  #4

Re: Are females more prone to crying in pain?

I can only remember two observations (one male, one female) where the only reason for crying was physical pain. The guy I posted about before... trying to walk on a busted leg on crutches in the hospital - he was clearly in a lot of pain and because he was holding the crutches he was not able to wipe the tears running down his face! You could tell by the expression on his face and the quiet crying sounds he was making that he was definitely crying.

​The other was a woman at a place I worked - years ago - she played football (soccer to some of you) with us guys after work. She twisted her ankle really badly - at the time we wondered if she'd broken it! She was in agony - she was fighting the pain and it was like she just gave up and started crying - tears spilling down her cheeks - very nice actually!

​The only other event that close is my wife while she was giving birth - obviously a painful experience - several times during contractions she started to cry - sobbing with tears running down her cheeks in a room full of medical folk! Although she was clearly in physical pain there was obviously a fair bit of emotional pain so I'm not sure her tears were all physical pain related.

​I don't think I've ever cried just because of physical pain - and I've been though a lot of pain recently! My eyes have water to the point of tears leaking out but it didn't feel like crying - just a lot of effort. All the times I can say I'm definitely crying have been driven from mental not physical trauma. 

And most adults I have seen crying it's been an emotional not physical reason.


October 3, 2017 5:30 am  #5

Re: Are females more prone to crying in pain?

My guess would be that it isn't so much about the difference in pain tolerance, but more that it's more socially acceptable for women to cry.  Just a guess, no actual medical science to back that up though

" do not cry. They will do anything BUT cry. They stop themselves crying. And eventually they do cry if it is bad enough. So that's how you know with a man how bad it is for him. Because he would've stopped himself...Men always cry like that. They don't cry and in the end they do and if they do then it's overwhelming." ~Michael Caine

October 3, 2017 3:38 pm  #6

Re: Are females more prone to crying in pain?

@tearhunter: regarding the football playing lady, did she burst out sobbing all at once? When they try to hold back but then just lose it completely and start bawling - really find that appealing.

Ugly crying is pretty crying
     Thread Starter

October 3, 2017 7:14 pm  #7

Re: Are females more prone to crying in pain?

@TorNorth: Not right away - her face was twisted in pain - holding her ankle and moaning / crying out in pain, initially without any tears. Then she said something like "this is not good" - immediately her eyes went from dry to full of tears which just started spilling down her cheeks. Only after the first tears fell did she start to 'proper' cry - I mean we are only talking seconds here but as the tears ran down her face her moans of pain turned into rhythmic sobs -- difficult to remember if she lip curled... I don't think so but she was making painful expressions with her face and mouth.

​She was a very interesting woman to see cry. She wasn't your typical girl - she never wore a skirt or a dress, she played football, liked skiing - what we'd call a Tom Boy! And yet she was seriously attractive... her skin was perfect - beautiful face (the tears running down her cheeks looked incredible) and she had big stunning green/brown eyes - which full of tears were just perfect. She could have done more with her hair but not being bothered with that kind of thing it was rarely styled - neat enough - more just get up and go style.

​I was one of the guys to help her off the pitch (arm armed her back, her arm around me and another guy at shoulder level) - we were fairly good friends back then so she didn't mind me holding her! I could feel he sobs through her body was we helped her - at this point her head was tipped forward looking at the ground - big tears dripping from her eyes.

​This was the first time I saw her cry - and given the type of woman she was I really wanted to know what she looked like in tears - I was not disappointed! Saw her cry twice more in the time I knew her. Also, went skiing with her and once she forgot glasses/goggles - those big eyes watered all day sending tear after tear down her cheeks - they were not emotional tears but still very nice! 


October 3, 2017 10:52 pm  #8

Re: Are females more prone to crying in pain?

You’ve asked such a huge question. This post is going to be about science. If you want obs then skip to my next post. There’s no simple answer regarding whether women have a lower pain tolerance. Here’s a link to a meta-analysis about whether women feel pain more intensely than men:

It basically concludes that there is some evidence that women have a lower pain threshold. This means that, if a man and a woman were both subjected to an equal, and gradually increasing amount of pressure on the same regions of their bodies, the woman would be more likely to be the first to perceive the sensation as pain. Women were also better at discriminating between different intensities of heat, and were more likely than men to report heat sensations as being painful. So women may have lower pain thresholds as well as lower pain tolerances, although these results are not generalizable in any useful way because the differences are so inconsistent. Athletes are a completely different story. Athletes have a higher pain tolerance, but they are also more aware of the pain. Here is a study about pain in dancers: . Athletes know how much pain is normal, so they may be more sensitive to abnormal pain. Their higher pain threshold may simply be due to psychological conditioning, but if you read this article you will see all the confounding factors that make this study less than useful.

So this is super complicated. My observations are purely anecdotal and have no statistical power whatsoever.

I'm a woman and I think women are beautiful when they cry.

October 8, 2017 7:39 am  #9

Re: Are females more prone to crying in pain?

@tornorth: I work in the medical field, therefore I have seen many injured people and also a lot of pain. As truffle said it is just random observation. A lot of times sports injuries are a mixture of physical and emotional pain. Participating in a tournament and not being able to perform because of an injury is just awful. So many hours of preparation, team spirit....
Children cry more often, they are not jet aware about weakness and crap like this grown ups are very aware of.


October 9, 2017 2:14 am  #10

Re: Are females more prone to crying in pain?

I don't know about other girls, but for me, I usually only cry when I break a bone or have a really bad stomachache. For example, I broke my collarbone last May in my weights class. (Long story short, we were running relay races out on the track, and I tripped and fell while I was sprinting. I rolled onto my shoulder, hence the broken collarbone.
) As soon as I stopped rolling, I sprung back to my feet and said that I was okay, but my weights coach saw me hold my shoulder awkwardly, so she sent me down to the nurse's office.

It was really weird because I didn't start feeling any pain until I got to the nurse's office. My guess is that I had a lot of adrenaline in my system from the relay races (I'm really competitive
), and it took a little while to wear off. After that, though... ouch! I was laying down on a cot in the nurse's office with an ice pack on my shoulder, and the nurse was outside the room, calling my dad to pick me up. I was in a lot of pain, but I didn't immediately start crying. I heard the nurse talking to my dad, and then I realized that I probably wasn't going to be able to lift weights in a long time. The combination of those two things, plus the pain, was what made me start crying. Since I hate crying in public places, I tried to make it as silent as possible--only silent tears slipping continuously into my ears and hair. I didn't wipe them away. The nurse came back into the room after a few minutes, saw me crying, and asked me to rate my pain again (it was a seven out of ten).

I cried for about five minutes before I could stop. I didn't cry after that, even though the pain was still about the same. A couple of days after that, I woke up crying hysterically in the middle of the night because of the pain. I was so exhausted that didn't think too much of it-- I just took some ibuprofen and went back to sleep.

I think that females are probably more prone to crying in pain, but are also more likely to cry because of the emotions of the moment. It sucks to get hurt! And it also sucks when your injury gets in the way of something you're passionate about, like a sport or musical instrument.

Still, by the clock's revolution each hour,
I dissolve into tears about ev'ry half hour.

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