Researchers say the finding can be explained by the fact that women are the more empathetic sex
Yawns are twice as “catching” in women as they are in men, a study has shown. The finding can be explained by the fact that women are the more empathic sex, say researchers.
Growing evidence suggests that yawn “contagion” is closely linked to empathy, the ability to step into the shoes of others and understand what they are feeling. Even in higher animals, such as apes and monkeys, yawns can be catching. One individual yawning can trigger an epidemic of yawns in their neighbours. Research has shown that in apes, females are more susceptible to yawns than males. Research has shown that in apes, females are more susceptible to yawns than males.
After observing 1,461 yawning bouts in everyday situations over a period of five years, a team of researchers found that women were roughly twice as likely to “catch” a yawn as men. None of the individuals involved were aware they were being watched. Yawn contagion rates were also found to be significantly lower between acquaintances than between friends and relations. Read more