View Full Version : Bad News Stories 'Alter Women's Stress Response'

12th October 2012, 08:53 PM
Bad news stories, such as those about murder, seem to alter the way women respond to stressful situations, according to a small study.

Women produced more stress hormones in tests if they had read negative newspaper stories.

The study on 60 people, published in the journal PLoS One, showed there was no equivalent effect in men.

Experts said the findings showed "fascinating" differences between the sexes.


Researchers in Canada compiled newspaper clippings of negative stories, including accidents and murders, as well as neutral stories such as film premieres.

Men and women read either negative or neutral stories and then did a scientific stress test. Levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, were measured throughout the study.

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

Men's cortisol levels were not affected.

She added: "It's difficult to avoid the news, considering the multitude of news sources out there.

"And what if all that news was bad for us? It certainly looks like that could be the case."

Source: BBC