Last Updated on March 11, 2023 by Nurse Vicky
Why Do Men and Women Respond to Stress in such Different Ways?
When it comes to stress management, gender is a significant factor to consider. What is it about men’s and women’s coping mechanisms that make them different?
Studies on gender and stress have revealed that men experience the “fight or flight” response while under chronic stress, but women often respond with the “treat and nurture” response.
Men and women experience stress in very different ways, according to Gila Brunner, a certified sex therapist at the Centre for Sexual Medicine at Sheba Medical Center.
Regardless of the source of stress – be it the COVID-19 pandemic, war, chronic illness, or severe economic conditions – there are distinct differences between the common effects on men and women.
These differences exist despite the fact that both men and women produce the stress hormone cortisol.
The masculine response is either fight or flight.
The traditional symptoms of “fight or flight” developed as a survival mechanism to aid humans in responding swiftly to frightening events by either confronting the danger or fleeing to safety, depending on the situation.
In general, men are more likely to be affected by this process than women. An increase in the release of stress hormones occurs as a result of a stressful situation. These hormones cause physiological changes such as a pounding heart, tense muscles, sweat, and fast breathing, among other things.
Some males become enraged or agitated during the “battle,” which is an expected part of the process. Others get overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness, worry, and frustration, prompting them to retreat into a bad mood and sleep as a means of escaping; this is the “flight” component of the reaction.
The feminine response is to treat and nurture.
The secretion of the hormone oxytocin is the fundamental reason why women do not exhibit the “fight or flight” response as frequently as males do under stressful situations.
Stress-relieving benefits of oxytocin include lowering cortisol levels and blood pressure and reducing anxiety and depression.
It plays a very crucial and important role in maintaining homeostasis by balancing the body’s biochemical systems and contributing to overall relaxation and well-being.
Women’s biological life experiences, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, and child care, may naturally lead them to want close touch, empathy, and emotional expressiveness to cope.
Therefore, women are more prone than males to seek treatment, give to others, form friendships, and share their feelings with others to manage stress. In conclusion, human connection is frequently a significant component of managing female stress.
According to the report of the (APA) American Psychological Association, this ability to relate with others might explain the reason why women are more likely than males to take control of their stress and manage it.
Creating a more equitable playing field for men and women
“First and foremost, recognize that differences are normal and unavoidable, and strive to enjoy the best of both worlds!” urges Brunner. Men could respond to stress with a high level of practicality if they use the “fight” reflex to their advantage.
On the other hand, women are well-equipped to calm, share, alleviate loneliness, and offer support to those in distress through difficult times. It is essential in a relationship for each gender to recognize and respect one another’s requirements.
Consider the following examples: the woman should accept the “fleeing” guy’s need for silence, and the man should respect the woman’s desire for an embrace and physical contact.
“Supportive contact and personal, open talk are essential if we succeed in the difficult work of addressing the disparities between men and women,” stated Brunner.
The times have changed.
In recent years, there have been numerous shifts in gender roles, which have resulted in shifts in the physiological reactions to stress that are expected.
Unlike in the past, the typical reactions of men and women to stress are not as black and white as they once were. There are numerous different versions available nowadays.
Questions People Also Ask:
Which gender is more stressed, men or women?
Women are more likely than men to report feeling a great lot of stress (28 percent compared to 20 percent), according to a new study (8, 9, or 10 on a 10-point scale). In a more recent survey, nearly half of all women (49 percent) reported that their stress levels had increased during the previous five years, compared to four in ten males (39 percent).
What are the differences that exist between men and women when it relates to stress?
Stress and Its Effects on Women and Men: Gender Differences
Men report being less concerned with stress management and are more likely to believe they are doing enough in this area. In contrast, women emphasize the importance of stress management yet believe they are not doing enough in this area.
Are guys under pressure?
While women similarly experience most stress symptoms experienced by males, a handful is specific to or more common in men than in women. Several studies conducted by the American Psychological Association have found that men are less likely than women to exhibit mental and physical signs of stress.
What happens to a man when he is under stress?
Men eat their emotions when they are stressed.
This can frequently interact with and contribute to the physical consequences of stress, including high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and increased susceptibility to infections.
What are strategies that couples use to deal with stress?
It’s important not to stare at them indifferently. rather than criticizing, “express positive things and speak in encouraging terms.” “Empathise and sympathize with your spouse, but don’t compare your stress to his or hers.” Instead of saying, ‘Oh, you think your day was horrible, just listen to what I had to deal with!’ when your partner starts complaining, say,
What is it about my hubby that makes me feel anxious?
It is common for people to be concerned that their partner will leave them. Some people suffer anxiety because their partner is “too” anything – too wealthy, too attractive, too busy, too talkative, or any other characteristics. The companion (boyfriend, spouse, girlfriend, or wife) has characteristics that are stressful.
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