Women are more likely to anticipate the scary scenes that lie ahead and are hence more scared than men while watching horror films, a study concluded.
When given warning of extreme violence or horror, women's brains quickly leap into action, while men's stay calm until the event unfolds.
The finding comes from University College London researchers, who studied how the sexes anticipate unpleasant events.
Thirty men and women had their brain activity measured as they viewed pictures of positive and negative scenes, such as peaceful landscapes or extreme violence.
The results showed that the mere anticipation of something bad was enough to kick women's brains into action - but not men's.
"From an evolutionary perspective, anticipating an aversive event may help an individual prepare reactions in threatening situations," the Daily Mail quoted the researchers as saying.
"In everyday life, however, excessive anticipation of future harm may lead to psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression," the researchers added.
The findings have been reported in The Journal of Neuroscience.