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Q: Automatic reaction? ( Answered,   8 Comments )
Subject: Automatic reaction?
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: ansmepls-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 28 Jul 2005 16:45 PDT
Expires: 27 Aug 2005 16:45 PDT
Question ID: 549173
Why do women usually cover their mouth when they laugh.
Subject: Re: Automatic reaction?
Answered By: nenna-ga on 24 Aug 2005 10:56 PDT
Hello ansmepls-ga,

It seems to stem from an Asian tradition of covering your mouth as to
be more demure and well mannered. It?s considered rude in Asian
culture to show an open mouth. This may have been picked up on women
of other cultures trying to be better mannered and demure. Men are
typically boisterous and outgoing where women are quieter and fade
into the background. I personally thank heavens this isn?t so much
anymore, but it may be a throw back to when women were seen more than
(See licensed withdrawal)
(See common Asian gestures)

Google Search
why do women cover their mouth while laughing

If this answer requires further explanation, please request
clarification before rating it, and I'll be happy to look into this

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Subject: Re: Automatic reaction?
From: pinkfreud-ga on 28 Jul 2005 16:57 PDT
I was taught at an early age to cover my mouth when I coughed, but
I've never heard of women covering their mouths when they laugh. Where
have you encountered this behavior? What age are the women who are
doing this?
Subject: Re: Automatic reaction?
From: myoarin-ga on 28 Jul 2005 17:13 PDT
That is very typical for Japanese (maybe also other oriental) womaen,
a matter of upbringing.  In some societies, there are traditions about
evil spirits' being able to enter a person's soul through the mouth.
Saying "God bless" when someone sneezes is related to this.

In some western societies,, it is considered unbecoming for women to
guffaw in laughter.
Subject: Re: Automatic reaction?
From: ansmepls-ga on 28 Jul 2005 17:17 PDT
Hi Pink
I see mouth covering by women when laughing on many occasions. Now
that I have mentioned it you may notice it on television shows such as
talk shows
and even situation comedy. All ages are involved. I am not referring
to a giggle, more a hearty laugh.
Subject: Re: Automatic reaction?
From: ankit_toshniwal-ga on 28 Jul 2005 17:54 PDT
well according to me women are more on a gentler and courteous type so
they cover their mouth while laughing so that the spit or whatever
that may fall accidently,etc can be avoided.
Subject: Re: Automatic reaction?
From: frde-ga on 29 Jul 2005 07:26 PDT
Supposedly, and I reckon it is true, both women and men put their
hands over their mouth when lying (men less than women , training ?)

Faked amusement ?
Subject: Re: Automatic reaction?
From: myoarin-ga on 29 Jul 2005 08:28 PDT
Maybe not faked amusement but rather unrepressable amusement at
something they thought was inappropriate for them to laugh at.

For various reasons, perhaps.  Ansmephls-ga: "more a hearty laugh."

My "guffawing",  about what?

Subject: Re: Automatic reaction?
From: bschonec-ga on 29 Jul 2005 09:47 PDT
Perhaps before advances in dentistry this century people were
embarassed of bad teeth and that behavior is still prevalent?
Subject: Re: Automatic reaction?
From: myoarin-ga on 21 Aug 2005 14:32 PDT
Looking for something else, I discovered that Ovid in his Ars Amatoria
writes that  women should not giggle (titter?) or laugh loudly.

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