The comprehension of sexually different responses in dioecious plants to excess manganese (Mn) stress requires molecular explanation. Physiological and proteomic changes in leaves of Populus cathayana males and females were analyzed after 4 wk of exposure to Mn stress. Under excess Mn conditions, shoot height and photosynthesis decreased more in females than in males. Females also showed severe browning and subcellular damage, higher Mn2+ absorption, and different antioxidant enzyme activities compared with males. There were ten differently regulated protein spots induced by excess Mn stress. They were mainly related to photosynthesis, ROS cleaning, and cell signaling associated to ROS, plant cell death, heat shock, cell defense and rescue, and gene expression and regulation. Variation in protein expression between the sexes clearly showed that males have evolved more efficient photosynthesis capacity, more stable gene expression and regulation, and better cell defense and rescue to prevent further injury under excess Mn stress.