No study can tell women what we’ve realized since we danced through the Garden of Eden in our birthday suits: Men don’t understand our emotions. We realize this strange phenomenon the first time men ask us if we’re upset because we’re menstruating. Now we have scientific evidence to back our claims.

According to a study released through PLOS ONE, an open-access source, men are confused or misunderstand our emotions when they gaze into our eyes. The study asserts men had twice as much trouble deciphering women’s emotions than understanding other men’s. This is attributed to a lack of brain activation when looking into a woman’s eyes. Also, something we’ve already realized.

Here’s the proverbial icing: Women prefer men that attempt to understand them. No surprises there. We see this trope depicted in romantic comedies all the time.

The full-study is available online, but Hello Beautiful summarizes it up well:

Boris Schiffer, a researcher at the LWL-University Hospital in Bochum, Germany and his colleagues put 22 men between the ages of 21 and 52, with an average age of 36, in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner, which uses blood flow as a measure of to measure their brain activity.

They then asked the men to look at images of 36 pairs of eyes, half from men and half from women, and guess the emotion the people felt. The men then chose which of two words, such as distrustful or terrified, best described the eyes’ emotion. The eye photographs depicted positive, neutral, and negative emotions.

Men took longer and had more trouble correctly guessing emotion from women’s eyes.

In other words: Men just don’t understand.

  • Seritatheresa

    That’s a part of gender socialization. Women, particularly black women, are socialized to be servants. Not necessarily the help, but nevertheless servitude. Men aren’t socialized to be understanding, but they are socialized to be understood. This is one of my favorite lessons to teach in Social Psychology class.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    They don’t. I remember being even more peeved after a male manager told me not let it bother me when I told him that a customer disrespected me after he said, “You gettin’ on my nerves, girl” after I had to repeatedly ask him for the proper ID.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    Men and women are also socialized to not respect a woman’s authority. It’s only when a man tells a person the same thing do they listen.

  • Catpopstar

    Our culture does like to focus on the male p.o.v more than women’s. Its a wonder how we can even interact at all sometimes.

  • Sean

    Women don’t understand other women emotions how should men?

  • audaciousace


  • shoSTOPPER

    you know that;s true and women dont understand men’s lack of emotion hee hee

  • Kenan (@Datboykenan)

    I’m actually very understanding of Women’s emotions but this study is %100 dead on. I just think what women don’t understand is that A lot of Men try to understand how women feel. If a guy never tries he’s a jerk but if he tries then cut him some slack and TELL HIM HOW YOU FEEL!! lol

  • jamesfrmphilly

    do women understand men’s emotions?

  • dbsm

    men don’t have a lack of emotion

    what they lack is a variety of modes of expression of that emotion due to socialization (as mentioned by serita above)

    fighting, ignoring, and/or trying to fcuk my brains out equals some powerful emotions

  • mEE

    I don’t even understand my own emotions

  • Fantastico

    @Seritatheresa @The Moon in the Sky

    I could not of said it better myself.

  • Starla

    Nobody can understand another person’s emotions. You can be empathetic, but you can never truly understand anybody’s emotion. The study is complete hogwash too.

  • Mademoiselle

    My takeaway is that men and women should spend less time inferring someone’s feelings by the way they look, and more time listening to and speaking the words that describe what they want, need, and feel. I bet if those men were played tapes of women saying “I don’t trust you,” or “You scare me,” many more of them would’ve guessed the correct emotions… just saying.

  • Teflon Jawn (@Author_JGail)

    A lil bit of consideration and understanding goes a LONG way!

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