Modern men just as likely as women to show their sensitive side, survey reveals

LONDON — It turns out boys really do cry. Modern men are now just as likely as women to openly display a sensitive side, according to a new survey. The poll of 2,000 adults finds 71 percent of men confess to being in touch with how they feel, compared to 82 percent of women.

Across all respondents who consider themselves sensitive, 41 percent outwardly show this side of their personality “often” or “always.” A third (33%) think being in tune with how they feel is the sign of a good leader.

While 37 percent of men would consider being called “sensitive” a compliment, only 23 percent of women feel the same way. In fact, 24 percent of women in the survey would feel insulted if someone referred to them in this way.

Commissioned by Aveeno, the study found 55 percent think others, who openly show their sensitive side, makes them more likeable. Moreover, the research found 48 percent of respondents believe it’s more socially acceptable for women to show their sensitive side than men.

Tired, stressed man sitting outside
Photo by Bruno Aguirre on Unsplash

In general, however, 52 percent consider being seen as sensitive is a positive trait, and 44 percent say it can help one’s ability to succeed in their career. The majority (85%) also feel that a good leader in the workplace can be both confident, and sensitive.

More than a third (35%) have been in a work situation where they felt their emotional intelligence was an asset to their team or company. Just over six in 10 (61%) believe good listening skills show someone has compassion, while 48 percent cite open-mindedness. For 45 percent, good communication skills are vital, according to the OnePoll figures.

“It’s in our nature to be sensitive. It’s something we all face at times in our life when the world around us tests our resilience and strength,” says Dr. Cristina Psomadakis (aka “Dr. Soma”), a dermatologist, in a statement.

“As our body’s largest and most visible organ, our skin can mirror how we are feeling or what we’re experiencing – when it becomes sensitive, it’s because that skin barrier is weakened and compromised.”

Some men actually cry more than women

When it comes to showing their sensitive sides, a 2021 survey also found that men cry, on average, about four times a month. Women, on the other hand, weep about three times in a given month. That’s 48 times a year for men and only 36 for women.

The stereotype that men don’t seek professional help for their mental health also seems inaccurate — as two-thirds of male respondents have done so at some point in their lives, compared to just half of the women.

“We know for many men, the stigma about being vulnerable and seeking help for their mental health is still very prevalent today,” says Mark Hedstrom, U.S. Executive Director of Movember, in a statement. “As a society, we need to break down these barriers and help men understand the importance of opening up and getting help during those difficult moments. We also need to look out for each other. Check in on the men in your life — it could literally be a conversation that might save a life.”

South West News Service writer Richard Jenkins contributed to this report.

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