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Sex and gender differences in pain: A psychosocial perspective

Join us for this inaugural lecture where Professor Ed Keogh will discuss his 20 years of research investigating the factors explaining men and women’s pain.

  • 24 Oct 2018, 5.15pm to 24 Oct 2018, 7.00pm BST (GMT +01:00)
  • 5 West, 2.3, University of Bath
  • This event is free
A graphic of a man and woman next to each other with pain in the legs highlighted.
This inaugural lecture will focus on the differences in experiencing pain

Individual differences in pain

Pain is essential for survival, in that it signals harm and motivates protective behaviours. But pain can also become a persistent and highly disabling condition, and is viewed as a global health issue.

There are important individual differences in pain that need to be understood, explained and managed. One key difference often found is between men and women. Generally, women have a greater vulnerability to pain and painful conditions, and report more pain, more often, than men do. Whilst much research has focused on the biological mechanisms that might help explain this variation in men and women’s pain, this lecture considers the subjective nature of pain, and how we need a fundamental understanding of the psychosocial mechanisms involved.

Inaugural lecture

In this lecture, Professor Ed Keogh will highlight his work spanning 20 years. He will show how his work into cognitive, emotional and behavioural factors, as well more recently, social context and interpersonal interactions, all have a role in explaining men and women’s pain.

He will argue that a psychosocial approach not only helps us better understand how pain varies, but also why it varies. A central theme will be that in order to fully understand the similarities and differences that occur around pain, a sex and gender approach is needed. I will highlight gaps in current knowledge, as well as consider implications, and future directions for research and practice.

Drinks reception

There will be a drinks reception after the lecture in the 5 West foyer.

Book your place

You will need to email to book your place.

Speaker profiles

Ed Keogh is a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath. He is also the Deputy Director of the Bath Centre for Pain Research.

In 1997 he gained his PhD in Psychology from Goldsmiths College, University of London. His thesis explored the way in which anxiety can bias how we attend to threatening information. He was subsequently appointed to the post of Lecturer at Goldsmiths College, where he developed his interests in pain psychology.

In 2003 Ed moved to the University of Bath as a Senior Lecturer. He was promoted to Reader in 2011, and to Professor in 2017.

He has written extensively on psychological factors in pain, has over 100 publications, many of which consider sex and gender issues.

Booking details

Email to book a place


5 West, 2.3 University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY United Kingdom


If you have any questions, please contact us.