Not Just Drops of Water: Here’s an interesting finding. Frey compared the chemical make-ups of tears caused by eye irritants such as sliced raw onions, and tears caused by emotions. Tears caused by emotions were found to have more protein and beta endorphins in them. These emotionally induced tears appear to contain high levels of cortisol, an important hormone released during times of stress. When we cry from emotional stimulation, we may actually be releasing toxins from our bodies, in the same way we do when we sweat or breathe out air. Through crying, we help ourselves heal.
The Gender Gap: Although all over the world, women are more likely than men to cry, the difference in frequency is not that great. American men, for example, have been found to cry about 1.8 times per month. American women cry about 3.5 times per month. Women may cry more often because they have naturally higher levels of prolactin, a hormone found in tears. Prolactin is also the hormone that triggers milk production.