Society has an unfortunate tendency of gendering almost everything human beings do. For example, financial success, physical strength, and drinking beer are all reserved for men while being in touch with our sensitive sides, sipping on cosmos and tending to the home are often seen as more feminine activities. Needless to say, these stereotypes are totally unfounded and, luckily, our society is slowly starting to make some small strides when it comes to denouncing them. For instance, a groundbreaking new study finally answered the question of "is it normal for guys to cry after sex?" Oh, and the answer is, of course, YES. It's totally normal for guys to shed some post coital tears, despite what society may lead us to believe.
When watching movies and TV shows, it's typically the woman who cries after a sexual encounter but researchers over at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) found dudes cry just as often as their female counterparts.
The researchers were particularly focused on something called Postcoital Dysphoria (PCD). BuzzFeed News explains that the condition is characterized "by a short-term period of counter-intuitive responses after consensual sex, involving inexplicable feelings of irritability, sadness, anxiety, or tearfulness."
According to BuzzFeed News, 46.2 percent of women have suffered from PCD at one point or another but, sadly, there hasn't been as much information on whether men also grapple with the same condition. The researchers behind the QUT study explain the lack of information up until now could be due to "dominant cultural assumptions about the male experience [of] sexual activity and of the resolution phase."
"My guess is that we have such a cultural view of what sex is for men that the very idea of men having experiences which are aversive are just not even considered," professor Robert Schweitzer, a psychology researcher from QUT, who co-authored the paper with masters student Joel Maczkowiack, explained to BuzzFeed News.
In order to start bridging this gap in scientific consideration, the QUT study had over 1,200 men from around the world take an online survey. What they found was that 41 percent of them have experienced PCD at some point in their lives. What's more troubling? A small three to four percent of the men reported that they suffer from it on a regular basis.
Some who suffer from regular QUT find that the condition serves as a strong hindrance to their ability to enjoy sexual intimacy.
"It is because I cannot bear negative feelings and emotions anymore," a 41-year-old participant who goes by John* said, describing his decreased desire to have sex. "I am avoiding any sexual behavior as much as possible, despite still feeling needs."
While the study wasn't able to come up with any conclusive results for what exactly causes PCD in men, the fact that it was able to even acknowledge the fact that it is something men suffer with almost as much as women do is already a huge step in the right direction.
Here's to hoping the scientific world continues to break down gender norms in their research.
*Name has been changed.
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