Would most women really scream when finding a dead body?

I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen this is movies, women screaming or stifling a scream with their fist when coming across an unexpected corpse. (Men, of course, never scream in those circumstances). Does this reflect reality? I briefly considered killing a few people and arranging for their discovery by a member of the sex in question but as my sample would be far too small to base a general conclusion on I decided to put it to the SDMB instead.

I’ve worked in more than one haunted house over a number of Halloweens. The answer is Yes. A goodly number of females will scream, and the younger they are, the more likely. And if she’s with a boyfriend, she’s even more likely to let one rip.

I don’t think I’d scream, but I might shriek briefly in surprise.

Look, I “shriek briefly in surprise” when I drop a fork. (Which probably means that if my dog found a severed foot I wouldn’t make a sound, but you know how that sort of thing goes.)

Every time I’ve been well and truly surprised by something scary or gruesome, I’ve gasped not screamed. Screaming comes later, after I’ve scaled the nearest man in order to stand on his shoulders and get away from the bad thing.

Does it count if I were to scream like a woman?

My guess would be that context matters. Slumped at a bus stop: I’m not necessarily screaming. In bed, next to me when I wake up: Lots of screaming.

Just today I let loose a bloodcurdling yell because I thought I saw a roach. So yes, I’d probably do the same for a dead body.

I once found someone who may have been dead (but wasn’t). I didn’t scream, I tried to help him.

If you go in a haunted house or watch a scary film there is a societal expectation that a woman will scream, so it’s not really a fair representation. It’s all anticipation and fun, waiting for that moment. Women are meant to wait, then squeal and cling to Large Handsome Man. It’s a game.

Since I expect there are few controlled experiments on this subject, let’s move this to IMHO>

General Questions Moderator

For a dead body? No.

In a fake haunted house because I am waiting for something to happen? Yes, but that makes it more fun :wink:

Having encountered more then one dead body over the years no, this woman does not scream. As noted, context is important - if I wake up one morning next to a cold, stiff spouse I might well let one rip, but in general no, no screaming here.

Donno…I know women (and some men) who scream like 9 year old girls when they see a spider, rat or bee in the room.

My guess is a real dead body of a stranger would probably make most people want to vomit or be too shaken to even speak…depending on how bloody/ugly the scene might be.

Now, if you should see someone you love actually die, that might cause a scream as it happens…but discovering a loved one’s body after the fact, I think most people would be too overcome with emotion to do much more than cry and perhaps sob uncontrollably during the 911 call.

I am in no hurry to test my theory.

Well, not like in the movies or on TV. Those always seem like horror movie screams.

I have more of an awkward, strangled yelp sound going on that happens in moments of surprise. That would probably happen if I came across a dead body unexpectedly. It happened the other night when I stepped on a furry cat toy in the dark, and thought for a moment it was a real dead mouse.

No, but they all stand on a chair and shout “Eek!” when they see a mouse.

I’m assuming the OP means a human body, and for that I have no experience.

I have found (in separate incidents) the dead bodies of 2 dearly loved cats. I didn’t shriek or scream in terror like in the movies. I did wail at the top of my lungs, briefly, in sheer grief, but I guess that’s not really the same thing.

I think the last time I let out a scream like that, a wet mouse ran over my foot while I was in the shower. Totally startled me. Being startled is what might make me scream. If a dead body fell on me, I would probably scream. If I saw a dead body on the side of the trail or something, I would probably keep calm and call for help.

When I was a kid, I just assumed this was nothing but a sitcom cliche. But at least in my observation, this reaction seems to be more the rule than the exception, even now.

I’ve never seen this except on TV.

I’m female, and I don’t scream. I don’t think I’ve really screamed since I was a little kid- maybe while messing around drunk as a teenager, but never as a genuine response to being scared or startled. Even in situations when people have deliberately tried to get a rise out of me (eg, co-workers putting a model snake on a conveyor belt, while I was working in a park house in Australia), I don’t remember ever making any noise bar possibly a slight intake of breath.

My normal startle reflex is to freeze for a fraction of a second. Possibly it’s partially because I’ve worked with animals a fair bit and making a loud noise when startled by an animal is rarely a good plan; but even when I was little, I didn’t scream on roller coasters like most of my friends did.

My “daughter”-in-law screamed when she woke up to find her fiancé dead in bed beside her six days before the wedding.