OMGfacts : Blinking is a reflex that is started by a sudden noise. Studies show that women react more quickly then [sic] men to these sudden noises, and blink both twice as hard and often as men.

factalerts : Essentially, women blink more often than men due to the higher levels of the hormone estrogen within their system.

Is this claim true?

  • 1
    Not sure I understand the question. If being startled, how quickly you blink has no effect on how many times. But if you are saying that the threshold of being startled is lower, that is a real question. The next sentence, does estrogen affect how often women blink (regardless of startling) could also be tested, but it is entirely unrelated. Which question do you want answered?
    – user29285
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 23:58

1 Answer 1


A new perspective on spontaneous blinks Ophthalmology 2013 May; 120(5):1086-91

Blink rate was significantly higher in women than in men (P = 0.007, unpaired t test; female, 22.0 ± 16.8 blinks/minute; male, 8.6 ± 7.2 blinks/minute).

See also Analysis of blink rate patterns in normal subjects Movement Disorders 1997 Nov;12(6):1028-34.

Women had a higher BR [blink rate] than men, but this was significant only while reading (p < 1 x [10^(-5)]). In men, mean BR while reading was 3.0 (5 and 10% critical values: 0-13 and 0-10); in women it was 6.2 (critical values: 0-26 and 0-20; Table 1).

  • This 2003 study of 338 healthy Chinese adults found 11.4±4.2 blinks/min in men and 9.8±3.6 blinks/min in women (P<0.01). Also, "A progressive decline of [eye blink rate] along with age was noted in either gender", unlike your second study which found "No age-related differences". Your first study was much smaller than the others (30 people). Because of all that, I'm disinclined to draw broad conclusions from any of the studies.
    – benrg
    Commented May 2, 2023 at 0:10

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