London: Negative news affects women more than men and they can also remember the details better, according to a new study.

Canadian researchers who showed men and women stories taken from newspapers found reports of accidents and murders took a greater toll on the female psyche.

Researchers believe it could be because women are more empathetic and have evolved to look out for and think about situations that threaten them and their children, the Daily Mail reported.

The study gave 56 men and women a selection of stories from Montreal's newspapers. Some were judged to be emotionally neutral, such as a report about a film premiere or the opening of a new bridge and others were more harrowing.

Samples of saliva were regularly taken throughout the experiment, to check for any changes in levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

"Although the news stories alone did not increase stress levels they did make the women more reactive, affecting their physiological response to later stressful situations," University of Montreal researcher Marie-France Marin, said.     

"Moreover, the women were able to remember more details of the negative stories. It is interesting to note that we did not observe this phenomenon among the male participants," Marin added.

She added women's bodies may be primed to be alert to danger. "It has been suggested that women's stress system is wired up to ensure not only their own survival but the one of their offspring as well," she said. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.


(Agencies)


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