Do men really have a higher pain threshold?


Which gender experiences the most pain? The age old question is still rife: what hurts more, child birth or being kicked in the … well .. man bits?  I try to raise this question when talking about measuring pain in the Health section of the A2 using the McGill Pain questionnaire to quantify – well at least in part – the pain experienced at different times.

A recent piece of research has found that at 5 out of 12 pressure points men’s pain threshold was higher than womens.  However, we have to note that individual differences are rife in perception of pain.  Men may have just been more likely to report that the pain wasn’t there to prove their ‘butch man persona’.  Maybe we could have used some form of physical measure to attempt to get a more objective idea of the perception of pain.

You can read Christian’s comments on the study over at the BPSRD or go find the original study and see what you think.

Garcia, E., Godoy-Izquierdo, D., Godoy, J.F., Perez, M. & Lopez-Chicheri, I. (2007). Gender differences in pressure pain threshold in a repeated measures assessment. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 12, 567-579.   Hat tp to the BPSRD.

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One Response to “Do men really have a higher pain threshold?”

  1. London Counselling September 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

    I believe that men are wilder than women in terms of actions but is really more enduring in terms of pain. They prefer to suffer pain in other ways like keeping it in them silently but I also think that every acts of men are depending on the kind of burdens that they carry

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