top of page

"Fight or Flight" vs. "Tend and Befriend" -Did you know women react differently to stress than men d

Recent evidence suggests that there is a difference in the stress response exhibited by men versus women. In moments of stress, men react in "fight vs. flight" while women react in "tend vs. befriend". The physiological stress response typically involves activation of the sympathetic nervous system and the HPA axis in both genders. But the stress response in women builds specifically on attachment and care-giving processes. During times of stress, males experience a release of testosterone. This can lead them to be aggressive. Whereas women experience a release of oxytocin. This leads them to be more calming in their response. And to want to "tend" to their offspring to calm them. And then they typically will want to seek social interaction to talk.

What do you think? Do you respond in "fight or flight" or "tend and befriend"?



bottom of page