Department for Health

Men and Women wanted for survey to help find out how masculinity and femininity influence how we cope with pain

Thu Jun 02 16:08:00 BST 2016

Researchers from the University of Bath are embarking on a new study to understand more about how men and women cope with their pain.

Research has consistently shown that women report more pain than men, and that their pain is more intense, disabling, and frequent than that experienced by men. There is also some evidence to suggest that gender-related factors, such as masculinity and femininity, influence how individuals experience and report their pain.

Pain is a common aspect of life for many of us, and can have a negative effect on our lives. However, some of these negative effects can be avoided depending on how we cope with our pain. How we cope with pain is often determined by personality factors and the situation in which we experience pain, and PhD student Samantha Wratten is interested in the role that gender plays in coping with pain.

Masculinity is linked to a number of risky health behaviours that can have a negative impact on health, whilst femininity is linked to more expressive health behaviours such as seeking healthcare, expressing pain, and taking painkillers.

Men and women tend to have both masculine and feminine traits. This research aims to explore the role of these factors in influencing how men and women cope with pain. Understanding gender barriers to expressing pain can help correct the idea that pain is a sign of weakness, in turn improving fitness, health, and longevity.

The researchers are looking for men and women aged 18 and over to complete a short, online survey that will explore how sex, gender, and motivation influence how we cope with pain.

This asks questions about:

  • your experiences of pain
  • what you do when you are in pain
  • your personality and attitudes related to coping with pain.

The survey takes 20-30 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous.

Take part in the survey

Find out more about the Centre for Pain Research.