We've all heard it before - women can tolerate pain better than men. But the battle of the sexes is heating up after a new study shows.... well, maybe women are wrong.
According to a new study by Leeds Metropolitan University, men can tolerate more pain than women and are less likely to react to it because they want to appear macho.
The study, which was printed in the October issue of the European Journal of Pain, show that because of gender stereotypes men tend to act stoically when they are hurt whereas women show more sensitivity.
Dr. Osama Tashani recruited more than 200 British and Libyan student volunteers, who underwent experimental pain tests.
"Traditionally high levels of stoicism are associated with men and high levels of sensitivity associated with women," Dr. Tashani said. "Some ethnic groups are described as more stoic, while others are viewed as more free in expressing their pain behaviour."
Tashani said the four factors taken into account in the study were individual sensitivity and endurance, stereotypical endurance, individual willingness to report pain and stereotypical sensitivity.
The result of the two-year study?
Men had higher pressure pain thresholds and lower pain intensity ratings than women.
"The research found that of the volunteers, men considered themselves less sensitive, more tolerant to pain and less willing to report pain than a typical woman," according to the study. "Likewise, women rated themselves as more sensitive and less tolerant to pain and more willing to report pain than a typical man."
British volunteers could not endure as much pain as Libyan participants but were more willing to report it.
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