Do men suffer more than women after breakups?

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While women are often characterized as the more emotionally sensitive of the sexes, new research published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior suggests that, when it comes to the heartache following a failed romance, men may actually suffer more than women.

The research, conducted by sociologists at Wake Forest University and Florida State University and highlighted by the Telegraph, was based on survey responses from 1,000 unmarried men and women between the ages of 18 to 23. The researchers say the results indicate that when relationships fail it tends to have a greater impact on men’s own sense of self worth, and because men are less likely to confide in other male friends, this feeling is compounded by a sense of isolation. Women, in contrast, tend to have close friends who they confide in, and whom they can turn to for support.

Responding to the results, Melanie Bartley, a sociologist at University College London, told the Telegraph:

“Young women do tend to have wider relationships with friends and family by this time to rely on. Young men don’t tend to confide in each other and that can make them feel isolated. Their friendship groups are more competitive than nurturing. They are just as sensitive as women but it’s a matter of whether they feel valued.”

The researchers also found that men and women’s reported coping strategies differed significantly. While women would look to friends for consolation after a break-up, men were more likely to say they sought refuge in drugs and alcohol.

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