Gender stereotypes can be quite insidious when it comes to emotional display. A recent Penn State study featured on last week's New York Times shows that perceptions of crying vary depending on whether it’s a woman or a man doing the crying. “A moist eye was viewed much more positively than open crying, and males got the most positive responses,” the study suggests.
Why are gender stereotypes to blame? Because gender stereotypes portray women as more “emotional,” a crying woman is almost expected and – as such – not taken seriously. A crying man, on the other hand, must really have a valid reason to be crying. Or he is viewed as a sensitive person, capable of expressing their emotions in a healthy fashion...
Here is another telling excerpt from the article:
"Women are not making it up when they say they're damned if they do, damned if they don't," said Stephanie Shields, the psychology professor who conducted the study. "If you don't express any emotion, you're seen as not human, like Mr. Spock on 'Star Trek,'" she said. "But too much crying, or the wrong kind, and you're labeled as overemotional, out of control, and possibly irrational."And, unfortunately for women, it doesn't take much for women to be labeled as overemotional.