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... Women dwell on distress, while men turn to drink Women dwell on distress, while men turn to drink

13 May 2008

When women are upset, they dwell on their negative emotions while men find some way of distracting from it, according to new research.

A Yale University study revealed that women are more likely to recognise and report their own sadness or anxiety.

However, the research, which involved looking at the reactions to emotional states of 54 healthy adult social drinkers, found that men will do their utmost to distract from this.

The study showed that they are more likely to crave alcohol when feeling stressed or upset than their female counterparts.

The researchers said this may be one way in which men can deal with their distress, while women are more likely to address these states.

Tara Chaplin, one of the researchers, said: "Women are more likely than men to focus on negative emotional aspects of stressful circumstances, for example, they tend to 'ruminate' or think over and over again about their negative emotional state.

"Men, in contrast, are more likely to distract themselves from negative emotions, to try not to think about these emotions.

"Our finding that men had greater blood pressure response to stress, but did not report greater sadness and anxiety, may reflect that they are more likely to try to distract themselves from their physiological arousal, possibly through the use of alcohol."