SEX, SEX-ROLE SELF-CONCEPT, EMPATHY AND CRYING BEHAVIOR
This study was designed to investigate the relationship between certain personality and socio-cultural factors and crying in male and female adults. There seems to be a consensus among investigators that females, in our society, cry significantly more often than males do. It was hypothesized that empathy and sex-role self-concept were intimately related to crying and would help explain the tendency to cry and not to cry.;Subjects were 58 females and 43 males who in response to public advertisements volunteered their participation in the study. They were all at least high school graduates and of middle class backgrounds.;Crying behavior encompassed both present (situational) and past (dispositional) measures of crying. Past crying was measured by the Emotional Inventory (Part I), a questionnaire designed by this investigator. Present crying was evoked by the presentation of a film and was measured by the Emotional Inventory (Part II). Participants were categorized, through the use of the Emotional Inventories, into four groups: present criers with a crying history, present criers with no crying history, past criers with no present crying, and no past crying with no present crying.;Sex-role self-concept was measured by the masculinity and femininity subscales of the Bem Sex-Role Inventory. Empathy encompassed both cognitive and emotional components and was measured by the Individual Reactivity Index. Because preliminary analysis of data indicated that these scales were all intercorrelated, a multiple discriminant function analysis was performed to test whether the groups differed significantly on a composite of these variables.;The results of this investigation showed that sex was the most important variable in discriminating among the groups. Females exhibited significantly more crying behavior than males did. Empathy made a meaningful contribution towards the discrimination of the groups and significant differences were found between the sexes with respect to emotional empathy. Masculinity, and not femininity, emerged as the third most important variable affecting crying.;Since the discriminant analysis accounted for almost half of the variance among the groups, it was concluded that while the variables studied here were very important, there were probably other variables not included in this study which affect peoples' crying.
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 44-11, Section: B, page: 3568.