Gender stereotypescan play a big role when it comes to expected and ideal behavior of boys and girls. Boys, in particular, are expected to exhibit less signs of being emotionally vulnerable.
But certain parents have expressed dissatisfaction and anxiety with their young boys who cry frequently. Here are some of their stories:
“He will get upset and cry if he is unable to spell a word correctly or if another child beats him in a video game.”
“My son gets really whiny when he wants his Daddy's attention. It drives my husband bonkers.”
It’s a fact that women cry for longer and more often in a year, based on a study by the German Society of Ophthalmology. Women were observed to cry 30 to 64 times a year, while men cried between six and 17 times in a year. Meanwhile, a 1985 research by William Frey studied the differences of crying frequency among boys and girls during adolescence. They found out that girls in general across 11 to 16 years old cried more frequently than boys.
While this may hold true for teenagers, what about infants and young children? According to a 2010 study by Miranda A. L. Van Tilburg, Marielle L. Unterberg, and Ad J. J. M. Vingerhoets, published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, no difference in terms of crying frequency can be noted among babies and young children.
The more important thing for parents to address when it comes to crying among their children, perhaps, is providing a great amount of support to help strengthen their kids emotionally, rather than criticizing them when it comes to excessive crying, especially for little boys.