Do women react more to negative news?

Females tend to react more to negative news than their male counterparts. This is the suggestion of new research published in the open access journal PLoS ONE, which found women who read bad news remember it more than men who peruse the same story.

Carried out by Sonia Lupien and colleagues at the University of Montreal, Canada, the study demonstrated females often have stronger stress responses when taking stress tests after reading such articles.

It was also shown that women were more likely to remember a negative story - and still experience emotional responses to it - a day after reading the copy for the first time.

The investigation is the first to look at stress reactivity and later recall with regard to negative news coverage and it was noted: "Gender differences underlying the processes of stress and memory may play a role in how we react to negative news in the media."

However, the British Chartered Psychologist Sue Lovegrove from SML Training and Consultancy expressed doubts about the conclusions drawn from the study:

"Whilst this hypothesis around gender differences and stress reaction levels when reading negative news items is very interesting, my concern is that the sample size - 30 men and 30 women - is far too small. "