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Proving the Stereotype that Males Are Better at Withstanding Pain than Females

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In this experiment, a few volunteers were tested to see the amount of pain they could handle, or how long they could last while being uncomfortable. The volunteers were asked to put their hand in a bucket of ice water that was about 55 degrees, and were timed. Their times were recorded, and it was found that males lasted an average of twelve seconds longer than females did. The hypothesis that was made ended up being correct, that men will last longer than women.

There has always been a stereotype that men can handle pain better than women can. It could be that women are just more vocal about the pain, and men keep it more to themselves (Landau, 2012). Researchers looked through pain scores from patients at Stanford Hospital, and they found the greatest differences in patients with respiratory, digestive, and circulatory disorders (Landau, 2012). Across many diseases, women were reported to experience pain one point higher than men on an eleven-point scale (Landau, 2012). Based on research and daily life, it was predicted that men will keep their hand in the ice water longer than women can.
The goal and objective of this lab was to see if the stereotype is correct, and to see if this experiment’s results were similar to others that had been done in the past. It was observed that the girls tested were more vocal about the pain than men were, which has been introduced as a theory about the pain difference between genders.
Based on the research, it was predicted that men will last longer than women when holding their hand in the ice water. This was predicted because of previous research that had been done before, personal experience, and common knowledge. According to Cristen Conger, males and females process pain in different ...


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...onger than the women did, which makes the hypothesis that was predicted correct. Based on the research that was done, there are gender-related differences in pain intensity (Goldman, 2012). It can be concluded, from this experiment and ones done in the past, that women may feel pain more intensely than men. When feeling pain, it was discovered that the part of the brain associated with emotion lights up in women, and in men, the cognitive part lights up (Conger). Men and women just process and deal with pain in different ways, which is what our experiment shows.



Works Cited

Conger, Cristen. “Do men and women feel pain differently?” How Stuff Works.
“Do women feel more pain than men?” CNN Health. 23 January 2012.
Goldman, Bruce. “Women report feeling pain more intensely than men, says study of electronic records.” Stanford School of Medicine. 23 January 2012.



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