Animals

Do Women Really Handle Pain Better Than Men?

Many people think that women have a higher pain tolerance than men, but researchers have recently found that might not be the case.

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Sex, Gender, and Pain: A Review of Recent Clinical and Experimental Findings (The Journal of Pain)
"Consistent with our previous reviews, current human findings regarding sex differences in experimental pain indicate greater pain sensitivity among females compared with males for most pain modalities, including more recently implemented clinically relevant pain models such as temporal summation of pain and intramuscular injection of algesic substances."

Gender, Coping and the Perception of Pain (Pain)
"A consistent pattern of effects was found, over both behavioral and self-report measures of pain. Compared to females, males exhibited less negative pain responses when focusing on the sensory component of pain (i.e. increased threshold, tolerance and lower sensory pain)."

Culture and Gender Effects in Pain Beliefs and the Prediction of Pain Tolerance (Cross-Cultural Research)
"Consistent with their beliefs, Indian participants had higher pain tolerance than those in the United States, and males had higher pain tolerance than females."

The effects of experimenter characteristics on pain reports in women and men (Pain)
"Results indicated a significant main effect for professional status of the experimenter on pain tolerance. Subjects tolerated pain longer when they were tested by a professional experimenter."