Medicine: The Weeper Sex

And as much pity is to be taken of a woman weeping, as of a goose going barefoot.

—Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy

After tests on 231 people, two ophthalmologists at the Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Drs. John W. Henderson and Wendell A. Prough, proved what everybody knew (or thought he knew) all along: once they start to cry, young women can weep more tears than young men.

Narrow strips of filter paper, folded near one end, were hooked in the 231 subjects' lower eyelids. After five minutes the length of the dampness on the paper outside the eye gave a measure...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!