The female scream

Why is it that only females scream when they are frightened or overjoyed? I have never seen a man display this type of behavior.

Watch “America’s Funniest Home Videos”. Men scream just fine.

And may I introduce Bruce Campbell - Best scream in the business. The only reason to see Congo is to hear him scream.

And it’s way funnier too.

Little boys do. I think it’s socialized out of them by the age of 5. So, to answer your question, men don’t scream when they’re excited or scared because they’ve been taught they’re not supposed to.

Men scream just fine. One day, as Mr Mercury came out of a room, I snuck up on him and pounced. He screamed a very girly scream.

He also screamed in his sleep once.

Men, almost as a class, do not shriek at the top of their lungs out of glee, or mock fear… only in response to life-threatening, nut-shriveling, predator-springing-from-the-grass-with-fangs-bared sheer terror. And then only sometimes.

But if your home is near an elementary school playground, you can hear what the OP is referring to: shrieking girls. Constant shrieking during recess periods.

Observe them at play, and you will notice some girls will shriek every chance they get. When a ball comes in their direction. When they’re playing tag and it moves in their general direction. When they slide down a slide or get pushed on a swing.

Yes, it can be conditioned out. But the need for it to be conditioned out of you is highly correlated to being a girl.

Especially when they’re frat boys screaming over a “rat”.

I had a neighbor once that had a young girl, about 10 years old I would say. This little girl could shriek at the top of her lungs, as if someone was ripping her fingernails out with a plyers, for hours on end. If there ever was in a shriek-o-rama contest, she would take the gold metal, hands down. You know, I never did regret moving from that neighborhood.

Holy shit, I think I got your old apartment…

Clearly, you were the only person who DIDN’T hear me screaming tonight after close points playing tennis. It’s equally as much a grunt as a scream, but it certainly still got the attention of every other person on all four courts.

Conditioning, my butt.

Because when men do it it’s called a yell.

Men are certainly as capable of extreme vocalisaton in response to emotional stimuli. As has been pointed out, they even scream. But mostly they do it in a lower register. What’s the diff, really :slight_smile: ?

My husband does this every so often. He says he does it to wake himself up when he’s having a nightmare. It works. In fact, it’s so effective, it wakes me, too. And the dog. And possibly the neighbors.

The only other time I heard him scream was when we first moved in together years ago.

I had moved all of the light furniture out of the bedroom into the living room, including the standing mirror. We had just returned from taking a load of stuff to the new house. It was dark, and when we walked into the apartment, my then-boyfriend let out a startled scream. He had seen his own reflection shining back at him in the dim light and thought it was an intruder.

I’ve woken myself from nightmares with screams before. Or rather, attempted screams. They always come out as “Ernaaaahuuuhh” or something. They do the job though.

In my case, loud vocalizations would have to be called bellows. My falsetto voice is a tenor.

Go to a ballgame some time. Not shrieks or squeals but hundreds or thousands of men screaming at the top of their lungs for hours at a time. Go see the world cup if ever you get a chance. I’d think that different cultures might make a difference as well.
I knew an English chap once who shreiked so high and loud it’d hurt your ears.
Believe me when I say, he had NO LOVE for snakes. It seems that I used to always have a rubber snake handy for one reason or another.
That was when I was a lot younger though. :wink:
Hmm, however even now I’ve got one out in the front yard now that it is about three feet long and looks amazingly real. I hang it in the fruit trees to keep the birds away. It somehow finds its way onto my front deck from time to time. You’d be surprised at how many folks, women and men, know how to scream. :smiley:


I accidently left by the front door a couple of weeks ago. Then went out of town for a few days. Several folks told me some time later about it. I need to be more careful I guess.
That happened once a long time ago. I had killed several copperheads in the back and they were in a bucket by the front door. That night some folks came by after dark. They knocked on the door of course. The porch light was off at the time, so I naturally turned it on…damn, I’m still apologizing for making that guy scream.

I noticed this phenomenon when I started college. You see, while I’m female, I don’t scream. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever screamed in my life, although I have done my share of yelling when watching football and baseball. I also don’t have any sisters. This is why it came as huge shock to me when I learned just how many women scream and how often. A roommate of mine would let out an ear-piercing shriek if you told her a friend from her hometown called, which happened a few times a month. It got to the point where I’d say, “Don’t scream but _____ called,” only to be greeted with another scream of delight. The year I spent in a girls dorm was a real eye-opener. Unfortunately, I’ve got good and sensitive hearing, which makes all this shrieking out right painful!

It’s not the volume so much as the pitch, and I suspect it does have something to do with socialization. My father once told me he had the neighborhood kids conditioned to believe that it was impossible to scream on our side of the street. As for me, if I ever let out an ear-piercing shriek, please, call the police. I probably need them!


How in the world did he convince them of that?

I somehow read that as, “You see, when I’m female, I don’t scream.” :smack:

No kidding. I read that and thought, “If he told me that, the very first thing I’d have done would be walk across the street and try!”