Do women feel more pain than men?
January 23rd, 2012
03:01 AM ET

Do women feel more pain than men?

The ache, the hurt, the burn, the stab. We use all kinds of words to describe pain, but the truth is that there’s no way to know if what you experience as pain differs from anyone else’s – it’s a matter of individual perception.

Scientists are honing in on a disparity between men and women that may exist in that perception. In the largest study of its kind, Stanford researchers analyzed electronic medical records for ratings of pain, and found that women tend to report greater amounts of pain in a variety of diagnoses. They report their results in Monday in the Journal of Pain.

The explanation could be that women are more vocal and forthcoming about the pain they experience, and that men are less so. But some pain doctors think the study reflects ongoing problems regarding the underdiagnosis and undertreatment of pain in women, and that there could even be biological underpinnings to this gap.

Researchers used electronic medical records from Stanford Hospital and Clinic for more than 72,000 patients. The records, when put together, contained more than 160,000 pain scores in more than 250 primary diagnoses. They narrowed this down to more than 11,000 patients with pain scores that had been recorded as part of their routine medical care.

They found the greatest differences in patients with musculoskeletal, circulatory, respiratory and digestive system disorders. There were also sex-specific differences in the intensiveness of pain in disorders of the cervical region and acute sinusitis. The findings make sense in the context of what experimental pain studies have found in the past.

On average, across many diseases, women reported experiencing pain one point higher than men on an 11-point scale. That may not seem like much, but a one-point difference can be used as an indication that a drug is working, said Dr. Atul Butte, senior author of the study and associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine.

“We actually use these numbers. We use these as a kind of threshold – when do we start pain medicine? Are we treating someone with enough pain medicine?” he said. “We need to have that understanding that there is a sex difference here.”

In the data set, researchers used only the first pain score associated with a clinical visit. But there are certain caveats: Some patients may be represented in the sample multiple times. Researchers did not obtain information about patients’ use of over-the-counter drugs prior to their hospital visit, which could be a factor that influences pain reporting. Still, the large size of the data set means individual biases may be less of a factor than on smaller studies on pain.

Two pain scales were used: verbal and non-verbal (based on an external observer). Adult patients were asked to rate their pain from 0, meaning “no pain” to 11, meaning “worst pain imaginable.” For patients unable to communicate, trained personnel assessed them on an 11-point scale. However, another problem with the study is that most records didn’t identify whether it was the patient or observer who rated the pain.

There are a variety of possible explanations for these findings, including hormones, genetics or psychological factors. The stage of the menstrual cycle may affect women’s reporting of their pain, for example.

Study authors also note that women are more likely to seek medical care than men, and that the gender of the evaluating physician may affect how patients report their pain.

But even if more women go to the doctor, that doesn’t mean they are getting the treatment they need, said Dr. Gaurav Trehan, director of interventional pain medicine at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, who did not contribute to this study.

Other research has suggested that women have more severe, frequent and longer-lasting pain than men generally. Laboratory studies of pain inflicted on participants have also found that women generally have a lower pain threshold than men.

“A lot of times cognitive, emotional and behavioral factors really influence the level and someone’s experience with pain,” said Dr. Irene Wu, assistant clinical professor of anesthesiology at UCLA Medical Center, who was not involved with the study. She said women's stress may also make pain seem worse.

From Wu’s experience, women tend to point to multiple areas of their body that give them pain, whereas men are more concise and complain of pain in one part specifically. She notes that chronic pain conditions that are more common in women, such as fibromyalgia, can compound women’s pain experience in general.

Similarly, women also tend to let their pain build up in various areas, so that by the time they get to a doctor there are a lot of spots that need to be addressed, she said.

“They take it in a lot more and for longer periods of time, so when it does accumulate, it may seem like at the doctor’s office their pain is so much more severe than men’s pain is,” she said.

And it may be that because of the popular notion that women can tolerate more pain than men – they often go through childbirth and decades of menstrual cramps, for instance – women do not receive adequate pain medications, Trehan said.

Other groups of scientists are looking at what happens in the brain when men and women experience pain, to see if there is a biological basis for their differing perceptions. Preliminary studies have found that there may be parts of the brain more active in men than in women when pain is induced, Trehan said.

Further research is needed to better understand what underlies this apparent sex difference in the experience of pain.

"We need to look beyond the pain," Wu said. "We need to treat the pain from a medical perspective, but I think we also need to make sure, and adequately assess, how well the patient is dealing with the pain."

soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Me

    Firsty! It only hurts when I laugh! 😉

    January 23, 2012 at 08:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      What's makes you laugh?
      Are you sure you're not smoking some weed Sh****it? Old man, Ron Paul will surely like to be your doctor.

      January 24, 2012 at 07:28 | Report abuse |
  2. IceT

    They're definitely more vocal about it .. I know my wife inflicts more pain on my ears than anything she's feeling!

    January 23, 2012 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michael M.

      I guarantee you that your wife is in more pain judging by joke you just made.

      January 23, 2012 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
    • Mitch

      Michael... I bet you have an "I Love My Wife" tag on the front of your Prius. Please turn in your man card.

      January 23, 2012 at 23:27 | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      Get Pres. Obama's ears to deflect some of the pains your abusive wife inflects on you daily. They come in handy and it will make you feel better. This is how Barack has been able to deals with those impotent GOP nonsensical rants daily. You think Barack was endowed with those ears by the Lord for nothing? Perfect handy work by the Lord Almighty!

      January 24, 2012 at 07:36 | Report abuse |
    • Easy E

      Jokes aside, it is truly silly that we as a socety encourage women to overindulge their emotions. Emotion is what causes the sensation of pain to be far worse than it really has to be. It is a disservice to women and those around them to continue this tradition of not exercising some self-restraint on their emotions.

      January 24, 2012 at 12:46 | Report abuse |
  3. mpouxesas

    ...ehm, 'feel' is the operative word here, and in GENERAL women feel 'more' than think....

    January 23, 2012 at 08:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Mamographer

    It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it!

    January 23, 2012 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Are you boasting or complaining? BTW, it's spelled 'mammographer', genius.

      January 23, 2012 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
  5. Norman Thorsen

    "Study authors also note that women are more likely to seek medical care than men, and that the gender of the evaluating physician may affect how patients report their pain."

    "Similarly, women also tend to let their pain build up in various areas, so that by the time they get to a doctor there are a lot of spots that need to be addressed, she said."

    These two statements directly conflict.

    The pain scale referred to here is purely subjective. One person's 5 might be another's 10.

    January 23, 2012 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Pete

    I laughed when I saw the pain scale with "smiley" faces on the TV sitcom Scrubs, and later saw that actual pain scale at a real hospital.

    January 23, 2012 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      The pain number scale's more commonly used when there's no language barrier and the smiley/frowny faces with children and people with English as a second language or when there is a translation problem.

      January 23, 2012 at 12:29 | Report abuse |
    • ab

      I love that show!

      January 24, 2012 at 09:59 | Report abuse |
  7. DSBsky

    Perception..lol.. Women perceive they feel more pain..lol.. Yes and women have it harder at work, in life, at school, waking up, feeling sick, walking down the street, talking to people. The only thing the study shows is they are being hypochondriacs. So far out of the last 3 girls I've dated, all 3 of them were.. Always saying "I feel sick", every day about one thing or another. It's pain, we all feel it.. This "study" if it can be called that is just pointless. Totally falls under the margin of error. "one point" lol.. To tell if a drug is working or not.. Ridiculous..

    January 23, 2012 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tony

      I'm sure no one "dates" you without rohypnol.

      January 23, 2012 at 09:21 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Men are the hypochondriacs in the world. I know of few men who didn't think their minor aches and pains were minor.

      January 23, 2012 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
  8. burger town

    women are more dramatic with their pain then men in general in my opinon. NO woman will admit to feeling more pain than men because they will always throw childbirth into your face. But they fail to realize that most of them are on painkillers when they deliver and dont feel the full brunt of the pain anyway. Childbirth pretty much is the game changer.

    January 23, 2012 at 09:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cary

      Visit any hospital procedure room and you will find it is the men screeching and crying and embarrassing themselves.

      January 23, 2012 at 09:19 | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      If you think that an injection given several hours after labor pain starts – and only to take the edge off of delivery – means that women don't feel pain during childbirth, then you are one ignorant fool.

      January 23, 2012 at 10:30 | Report abuse |
    • Michael M.


      I hope you don't actually work in a hospital, seeing as how you think being "emotional" = "embarrassing" for men (or anybody).

      Plus, after working for several months in an ER, I'd say both genders are about equal in their tear-shedding.

      January 23, 2012 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
    • seriously?

      A lot of women – your's truly – don't use ANY painkillers when giving birth.

      January 23, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Spoken like a caring, understanding man/husband/father.

      January 23, 2012 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • ab

      My ear infection was actually more painful than labor!

      January 24, 2012 at 10:01 | Report abuse |
  9. mikedeang

    I just knew it! Men could give birth without all the hoopla....

    January 23, 2012 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JuneCleaversBeaver

      I know when I gave birth to Wally he about ripped me apart. Ward never touched the sides again.

      January 23, 2012 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
  10. i_know_everything

    so what hurts more? getting kicked in the nuts or labor? can we answer this now?

    January 23, 2012 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ab

      Childbirth or getting kicked in the nuts? " No one will ever know, because no one can experience both." -Chandler Bing from Friends.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:03 | Report abuse |
  11. Delagrace

    They don't feel any pain at all when it comes to the bank account.

    January 23, 2012 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. chuckly

    it's more then likely that girls are pre-programed to want attention, so they have to vocalize every single ill feeling or pain no matter how minuscule it is, just to get attention whether then know they are doing it or not. Look at facebook or any other social network site for prime examples. Day after day there are women who feel the need to tell everyone how sick they feel, or how tired they are for no reason other then to get sympathy posts from other women who are in the same boat.

    January 23, 2012 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ab

      I guess I'm not the average woman, because I don't talk a lot and I don't want attention.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:05 | Report abuse |
  13. RichWW2

    Do women feel more pain than men? No. Do women say they feel more pain? Absolutely. Example. In every relationship, how many times does the man turn down sex because he isn't "feeling well"? Almost never. How many times for women? A lot.

    January 23, 2012 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thoughtful Lady

      That is like when a woman says she can't go out because she has to wash her hair. it is a woman's way of saying she is not interested in having sex with you. I'm sory if you are only learning this now. You must think all of your dates are chronically ill.

      January 23, 2012 at 12:56 | Report abuse |
    • seriously?

      Do you really believe that excuse? Women may use it with you because they just don't want to have sex with you – easier to say I have a headache than yuck you're repulsive, you smell, etc.

      January 23, 2012 at 13:03 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Wow. Another little boy thinking with his little head.

      January 23, 2012 at 13:36 | Report abuse |
  14. Tallice

    Yes. Women do feel more pain then men. Read Genesis 3:16. And the story is?????

    January 23, 2012 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maya

      If you actually cite the Bible as evidence for anything, you shouldn't be allowed to breed.

      January 23, 2012 at 21:52 | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      Oh pls. Genesis 3:16 doesn't count in this context or article. You just looking for some excuse.

      January 24, 2012 at 08:18 | Report abuse |
  15. Terry

    Let the misogyny parade begin, led by spiteful, inadequate little boys.

    January 23, 2012 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      It takes spiteful, inadequate little boy to know.

      January 24, 2012 at 08:21 | Report abuse |
  16. Eric

    I can't say(no one can) if they "feel" more pain...I certainly know they tend to whine constantly about it.

    January 23, 2012 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      I'd take female whining over male whining any day. And guys WILL whine if they don't feel well. Ask any married woman.

      January 23, 2012 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
    • ab

      I think you got that backward, Eric. Men are the biggest babies when they don't feel well. Women just have to keep going anyway, taking care of the kids, cleaning, cooking, what have you.

      January 24, 2012 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
  17. Michael

    Still relies on testimony. Not good enough IMO. Still what is the point? Pain has no gender.

    January 23, 2012 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Romona Hodson

      Thank-you Micheal!!!!!!

      October 25, 2012 at 12:10 | Report abuse |
  18. Garrett

    I think when it comes to both Physical and Mental.. Both genders do feel the same amount, if you exclude UN-medicated child birth. It's just that women speak out more about it while men keep it to themselves. I always wish I could talk about my aches and pains, but I either end ignoring it or hardly talk about it to begin with.

    January 23, 2012 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. DeeNYC

    Women complain about every little ache they feel, men don't. But when women get sick they usually keep going, when a man gets sick it's like the apocalypse. I broke up with a woman who didn't think my fever was a big deal.

    January 23, 2012 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      So what was wrong? Let's hear it.

      January 23, 2012 at 12:32 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      I broke up with a guy who always thought his illnesses were so much worse. He didn't have headaches, he had migraines. He didn't have a cold, he had a sinus infection. He didn't have a cough, he had bronchitis. He wanted me to baby him, hold his hand, let him lay his head in my lap while I held a cold (or warm) compress on him. He wanted me to "run to store" or the pharmacy or someplace to buy him something special to make or take or have to make him feel better. But if I ever got sick, he either told me to "go take care of yourself" or he expected that his needs would still be met even if I could hardly get up. And that, in my experience, is what MOST men are like. They are needy babies when they are sick and difficult, needy boys when their girlfriends or wives are sick.

      January 23, 2012 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      Hey, get real! Will ya?
      If a man falls sick; it’s a real tsunami and there's nothing to joke about. Men could only be taken down by REAL pains and not some minute or in your head imaginations of ghostly preconceived pains like women.

      January 24, 2012 at 08:10 | Report abuse |
    • Romona Hodson

      I wasn't on no pain killer during childbirth the first time and the second time I was and it didn't do no good. Its so easy for someone who's never went thru a pianful experice to set there and make a judgment or say no that don't cause they had a pain killer anyway. Life is not about who can take the most piano and who can't.

      October 25, 2012 at 11:56 | Report abuse |
  20. MashaSobaka

    I know personal experiences are kinda useless when talking about scientific studies, but this is the opposite of my family's reality. When I was five I got a kidney infection that I didn't tell anyone about; my mother found me semi-conscious in my bed and took me to the ER with a fever of 106. Thus began a lifetime of keeping my mouth shut when I was in pain. Why mention it? They're only going to take you to the doctor and stab you with needles if you do. My brothers and father, though...they scream and wail about every little paper cut, every stubbed toe, every minor injury. And when they get sick they're convinced that it's the worst mutation of the illness ever known to God or man. I'd say that men and women are different in ways that neither sex can understand because of the biological differences of our bodies. We women go through hormonal changes every single month that not only give us new pain but increase our body's ability to feel it (evolution's cruelest joke). Our bodies are designed to take tremendous amounts of pain because we're the ones carrying and giving birth to the next generation (evolution didn't anticipate drugs, and even those are given HOURS after the labor pain starts, if they're given at all). But society tells us that we're weak, chatty, and more social, so when we're in pain it's easier to admit it – people expect us to be too pathetic to handle it on our own. Trust me, guys...there are a lot of women who expect you to be just as pathetic. So just go to the doctor. It won't hurt you. ...Well, okay, it might. There will probably be needles involved. But they might give you a lollipop afterwards.

    January 23, 2012 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      You are absolutely right. As I stated below, my husband has been prescribed narcotics for an ear infection. When he gets a sinus headache, it's the end of the world and the whole house must cater to his need for absolute quite and darkness and special comfort foods while he lays on the couch and naps. When he had oral surgery he got two refills of the pain meds, no questions asked. Women may feel more pain – no man can ever understand what childbirth feels like – but we tolerate it better because we simply have to.

      January 23, 2012 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
  21. Concerned citizen

    This increasingly feminist spin on every article we see in media (especially these increasingly sensational articles from CNN) is disconcerting... undoubtedly there is a significant correlation between male-bashing and the world/USA turning upside down.

    January 23, 2012 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      This is your interpretation of the article? One would hazard a guess that you're male. Here's a thought which likely hasn't occurred to you before: the world's been male-dominated for more than 2 thousand years. If by turning the world upside down you're afraid that women want to be on top, that's not what we want. That's what *men* want: to be superior.

      *We* want equality, pay parity and respect. That males perceive equality as women being on top and in charge is their own misunderstanding. Grow up, get educated, read a book, raise your consciousness; it isn't our problem anymore, it's yours.


      January 23, 2012 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      The pay parity isn't what you think it is. Veteran's preference helps for higher paying jobs, and women don't equal men in military enrollment. Women might also lose pay due to their higher benefits cost (maternity leave, higher health care costs because they seek health care more than men, etc.) Every job I ever worked paid fair and square.

      January 24, 2012 at 14:32 | Report abuse |
  22. PD

    I have had 14 kidney stone ops and I literally passed out from the pain more than once. I have broken all my ribs several times to, and tho extremely painful didnt make it to the threshold of passing out. My husband just stabbed me on the 9th to kill me and I drove myself to the ER. Only point being is each person has the ability to cope with pain no matter how severe, because blessedly your body will black out when its truely unbearable.

    January 23, 2012 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      One hopes that you're getting all the help and counseling you need in this difficult time. Best wishes for a good recovery and a future safe from harm.

      January 23, 2012 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      Wow! That's real pain. Call the polici (as police).

      January 24, 2012 at 07:48 | Report abuse |
  23. seriously?

    All you guys who say women complain more about it have no idea what you are talking about. Talk to any wife who has had to care for a sick guy, cold, flu, broken wrist, whatever and you would think they are dying. Oh woe is me, I can't move 5 inches to get my drink..... guys are babies.

    January 23, 2012 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      Oh please! Try another one.
      This one didn't make it pass the toilet bowl.

      January 24, 2012 at 07:45 | Report abuse |
  24. Katie

    Oh the stupid pain scale!! Who thought that up anyway? When they ask you – right after surgery – what your pain level is, they do NOT want you to include the headache and nausea of anesthesia withdrawal, or the backache from being dead weight on a hard table for three hours, or the growing agitation from needing to urinate after four bags of IV fluids, or the hives from the surgical soap. They want to know only about pain in the surgical site. When they call you at home two days later and ask you what your pain level is, they don't want to hear about how painful your lack of bowel function is, or the headache and nausea you're experiencing from the pain medication, and they definitely don't care if you haven't been able to sleep yet. They even chide you for not staying ahead of the pain if you give them more than a 6 in your pain level and tell you it's pretty much your fault the medication isn't working. Do women really feel more pain than men? Maybe. Do we tolerate it better? In my experience absolutely, because we HAVE TO. Our complaints are often ignored or dismissed. It took me ten days to get my doctor to do something about the hives I STILL HAD from the surgical soap. (Most surgeries use a special iodine-based soap that needs a special solvent to remove it – it doesn't wash off.) It took me a month to get him to understand that the pain medication was making me nauseous and that the answer wasn't to give me anti-nausea medication (which in combination with the pain med & muscle relaxant so lowered my blood pressure I couldn't stand) but to prescribe something different and in a lower dose. I didn't need MORE meds, I needed LESS. As I waited for someone to listen to me, I did indeed let the pain get ahead of me. I had no choice. My husband, on the other hand, has been prescribed narcotics for an ear infection. Men can't tolerate pain like women can, and they often don't have to.

    January 23, 2012 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      The study disagrees with you.

      January 24, 2012 at 14:34 | Report abuse |
  25. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, M.D.,NSCA-CPT

    As a physician specializing in Sports medicine, with 20 years in emergency medicine and trauma and an alternative therapies clinic owner...I have seen a hella lotta pain! Women are much more likely to report pain and less likely to minimize it. Women may be subject to a higher degree of visceral and emotional influence on pain response. Men are inhibited in discussing pain due to societal and gender influences. They are much more likely to dismiss, neglect or minimize pain. There is scientific evidence that women actually tolerate high intensity pain more easily than men. Perhaps an evolutionary adaptation to child birth.

    January 23, 2012 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. logicalperson

    I think it all depends on the person. We really can't judge based on personal experience, but that's all we have to go by. I think people in general a "whiners" these days. For example, Obesity is a huge problem and people don't take any steps to correct their habits. They just complain, everyone wants things handed to them, but no one wants to sacrifice their "triple double cheeseburger" to reach their goals. Men aren't better than woman and woman aren't better than men. People and their habits make them "better" than the other person. This culture has us rewarding behavior that is destructive instead of behavior than will benefit humanity.

    January 23, 2012 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Todd

    I am not where where the 11 point scale is from 0 to 11? I have seen 0-10 (That is 11 distinct answers)... You know something some one can show the number with their hands. I guess this is in the world of Spinal Tap (the movie).

    Secondly I would expect culture has trained men to bare with pain more. As a kid growing up, I learned from the environment around me not to cry when I feel hurt otherwise other kids will laugh at me because I was crying (It takes only one kid to make fun of you for you to to learn that lesson). Or when competing in a sport if you feel tired or something hurts you suck it up for a little bit longer as not to be that one who stopped the game. Girls growing up they don't get the same cultural queues. So they are more apt to expressing pain.

    January 23, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Arbitrary

    This "pain scale" is so arbitrary! I have found that answering such questions about pain was often more annoying than the pain itself. I have no idea how to "imagine" the worst pain and than split that in point levels! I can tell you "this hurts more than that" and "the pain got better" or the "pain got worse", but how can I possibly associate a number to some level of pain in any objective way? I can imagine the extremes are "easier": you either feel no pain or very mild discomfort, you say 0 or 1. You roll up into a ball and you are unable to move and can barely breathe in pain, I would probably call that a 10. But anything in between to accuracy of one point? I refused to give a score more than once. I literally told them to pick any number they want between 4 and 8, because it is all the same to me.

    January 23, 2012 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Alex

    Surprised the word "Threshold" only shows up twice in this article. The threshold at which an individual perceives pain is an important factor in determining how much pain an individual feels. If the woman's pain threshold is lower than the mans, then it's possible to perceive that the woman is feeling more pain for the same external stimulus the man is getting. Everyone's threshold is different, so it would make sense our tolerance is also different.

    January 23, 2012 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. jj

    Women are much more in tune with their bodies than men. A man will go to the doctor only if he has a knife sticking in him, and sometimes not even then.

    January 23, 2012 at 16:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      You see, you just contradicted yourself. Simply put; there are certain pains that happened are all in your head imaginations rather than so-called in-tuned with your body. We men don't live by in your head imaginations of ghostly preconceived pains. That's how our brains are.
      Not only that; there are real pains and there are in your head imaginations of ghostly preconceived pains. The latter is what women are of which men don't to be a party to delusions. Heck life is too short.

      January 24, 2012 at 08:02 | Report abuse |
  31. Sharon

    Well, I can tell you that men are much bigger wimps in the dental office. Also, women will admit that their teeth hurt. Men say that YOU are hurting them. I've never seen a woman faint in the dental office, but I have seen several men faint in the dental office over the years. I think women are more likely to go to the doctor when they are in pain. Men...you have to hog tie and drag them to the office. They think it isn't macho to go to the doctor when they are in pain.

    January 23, 2012 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. augustghost

    I certainly hope so...they deserve it

    January 23, 2012 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Proof positive

    Women always say that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the family jewels. Here is proof that they are wrong.

    A year or so after giving birth a woman will often say, "It might be nice to have another kid."

    You never hear a guy say, "I would like another kick in the cojones."

    Case closed.

    January 23, 2012 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Fuyuko

    Personally, I think this is true. I live daily with pain that is caused by IC- painful bladder syndrome. I also have knee pain and back pain from an accident I know better than to ask doctors for pain medication, because doctors are afraid to prescribe, afraid to create addicts. All older women I know are in pain. I wish there were better resources for all those in pain- both men and women, as pain sucks and is nothing to joke about.

    January 23, 2012 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Newt

    Women just overreact. In fact think of it, the word overreact...it has the word ovary in it.

    January 23, 2012 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. infinite

    The amount of pain someone feels is directly related fear. Many women, probably more than men, find hospitals scary, unorganized and out of control and thus it is more painful. Doctors should go back to making home visits.

    January 23, 2012 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Concerned citizen

    America is falling apart because of junk like this.

    January 23, 2012 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      America is falling apart 'cos of dysfunctional impotent GOPer's and the party of NO.
      Get your FACTS together. Will ya? You could spin this one without a match.

      January 24, 2012 at 07:40 | Report abuse |
  38. MamaJama

    There is nothing scientific in this article.

    January 23, 2012 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. I waxincincinnati

    And I disagree.

    January 23, 2012 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Les

    The reason that men "feel" less pain is because they are brainwashed from infancy to hide it and their emotions. There is no physical basis for the denial. It is entirely the result of brainwashing from a society that can't seem to accept that the only real difference between men and women is their genitals. And genetic science has shown that even then there are exception. It appears to have come about in the mid-1800s CE and has continued into modern society. Before that men and women did not have the stupid social constrains that many loony families still insist on teaching their children. A perfect example is the railroading of children into dangerous sports instead of encouraging them to do something that is less juvenile like violin, art or dance when the child clearly wants to put away the childish behavior of playing games.

    January 23, 2012 at 21:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. eman

    Have they adequately taken into account the social pressures on boys to "man up and quit crying"? Men are trained to endure pain without complaint, else your masculinity is in question.

    Kinda like my brother who like REALLY hot food. He'll taste one of these insane hot sauces, and you can see his whole face turn red and seat on his brow. The he calmly says, "It's hot, but isn't really THAT hot."

    January 23, 2012 at 21:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. zero_gee

    This is purely anecdotal. My wife and my deceased mother are/were both hypersensitive to painful stimuli. My daughter and girlfriend are less sensitive to pain than I am, or at least appear to be. I whine, but I fall midway between my gals.

    January 23, 2012 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. MrDifficult

    Nah, women just whine more. Hence this article.

    January 23, 2012 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Fuyuko

    wow, lots of mystoginist remarks about women's pain in this comment section. I guess we can see why women are so often undertreated if few take her concerns seriously.

    January 23, 2012 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. JG

    I can't think of any plausible way that the pain responses of men and women can be accurately compared. I will say that I believe women are socially trained to be allowed to express their pain experiences more than men.

    January 23, 2012 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. kim

    My Gramma always used to say, "No sense, no feeling." Maybe this is why men don't feel as much pain.

    January 24, 2012 at 05:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Paul

      Funny, all the women here are saying men are the crybabies who overreact to pain. Are you saying women have no sense?

      January 24, 2012 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
  47. ﺶCHEﺶ

    Yeb, they constantly whine, nag and always want to be someone else instead of their true self. They envy each other and want to be treated like spoiled 3-yr. olds or like daddy’s little girl or the way their daddy pampered them. Shoot, no man in his right mind wants to raise a grown woman in this day and age. Men on the other hand don't have these silly pains except those impotent ones like the GOP's.
    See how impotent GOP's throw fits and tantrums on TV daily?
    Yeb; that's a woman trapped in a man’s body. Need not say more!

    January 24, 2012 at 07:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Bob

    I think it just depends on the person some people handle pain better than others and some people are just drama queens/kings. Just my two cents so don't bash me)

    January 24, 2012 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Kate

    It's possible that women feel more pain than men because we have to. Now we have pregnancy tests to tell us when we're pregnant, but for eons women did not have that option. Pain is an indicator of pregnancy for those women who pay attention. Early on we become sick, nauseous, dizzy, have backaches, headaches, etc. And late pregnancy seems to be nothing but constant pain and discomfort. Maybe women are just more in tune with what is happening in our bodies because of childbearing which makes our pain more intense. For instance, as humans evolved, if women felt no pain while pregnant what is the possibility that the birth outcome would be successful? Probably not good. Whether or not a man feels his pain doesn't have any effect on the continuation of the human race. So there, we're designed to feel pain so our offspring can have the best chance of survival. Guys shut-up and quit your whining about your women's complaints about her pain. She's just doing her part to continue the human race.

    January 24, 2012 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Manny

    Car insurance companies charge men more because they say we get in more accidents (which I don't believe anyway).
    But it's well known, and acknowledged in this article that women use their health insurance much more.

    So why don't women get charged more for health insurance?
    I wonder what congress would say about that?

    January 24, 2012 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      Hey, trying to get Pres. Barack Obama in trouble for these GOP misfits to jump on him and chew his little Black Ass?
      FYI: Congress believes in "All men (i.e. both men and women) are created equal" unquote. That said, question: why do you want women to be stiffed with any extra bill(s) anyways? Do you want us to advocate that your mum is stiffed with extra hospital bills for giving birth to you? Do you even have a sister and is your woman going to be having a baby of your image in future and be stiffed with extra hospital bills just ‘cos they’re women? This is an area you try to be human, reasonable and let things be the way they are. Men don't mind taking on that shared responsibilities without whining. See; we men are very fair, reasonable in thought and can take the pains as they come and move on without drama or whining. Be happy this is so! You feel me? Pls. don’t think like those Sunday Christian misfit GOPer’s.

      January 24, 2012 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
1 2

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.