Many different studies have shown that women can handle stress better than men can. But now there is a study that shows exactly why they are able to handle it better. Men tend to use the fight or flight response when they are faced with stress. They lash out and use anger to deal with it. Women often use the “tend and befriend” response which means that they go after support from peers while taking care of their problem head on.
The new study done by the State University of New York at Buffalo found that the reason that women are so much better at coping with stress than men is because of the hormone estrogen that is running through their body. It has a protective effect on a woman’s brain and when tested on rats showed that the female rats performed much better in a stressful situation than their male counterparts.
During the study the rats were exposed to a week of physical restraint stress. They discovered that through this the female rat’s ability to recognize and remember objects that they had been shown before the stress test was not compromised. The male rats however did show impairment in this area when put through the stress test.
The real test was when the researchers introduced estrogen into the brain of the male rats and manipulated the levels in the females. The male rats ended up responding to stress like the female rats had before, and the females responded like the males. This research could pave the way for new ideas on how to reduce stress in the body for men and women alike. It also helps to bring to light the differences between male and female mental issues.