London, UK: Bad news stresses women more than men and they can also remember the details better, says a new study.
Researchers who showed men and women stories taken from newspapers found reports of accidents and murders took a greater toll on the female psyche, Daily Mail reports. This, they said, could be because women are more empathetic and have evolved to look out for and think about situations that threaten them and their children.
According to the Canadian researchers, 56 men and women gave a selection of stories from Montreal’s newspapers. Some were judged to be emotionally neutral, such as a report about a film premiere or the opening of a new bridge. Others were more harrowing.
Samples of saliva were regularly taken throughout the experiment, to check for any changes in levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
University of Montreal researcher Marie-France Marin, said that ”Although the news stories alone did not increase stress levels they did make the women more reactive, affecting their physiological response to later stressful situations.”
”Moreover, the women were able to remember more details of the negative stories. It is interesting to note that we did not observe this phenomenon among the male participants,” Marin added.