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Who Doesn’t Take Women’s Pain Seriously? Both Men and… Women?

It’s better to be in pain as a man than it is as a woman.  University of Miami researchers have found that, when male and female patients experienced the same amount of pain, observers viewed female patients’ pain as milder, and more likely to benefit from psychotherapy than medication.  AND:  Both males and females were found to be guilty of this “gender bias,” which could lead to disparities in treatments, or women who’re in pain not getting the medication they need.

Study leader Elizabeth Losin explains, “If the stereotype is to think women are more expressive than men, perhaps overly expressive, then the tendency will be to discount women’s pain behaviors.  The flip side of this stereotype is that men are perceived to be stoic, so when a man makes an intense pain facial expression you think, ‘Oh my, he must be dying!’ […] Women are not necessarily more expressive than men, and thus their pain expression should not be discounted.”
(Daily Mail)

 

  • A study finds that women’s pain is not taken as seriously as men’s—even when they experience identical injuries
  • Researchers think this is due to the stereotype that women are more expressive than men, and men are generally more stoic—so their expressions of pain are taken more seriously
  • Both males and females showed this bias in a study, and researchers say it’s a problem because it could lead to disparities in treatments and women in pain not getting the medication they need
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