General Question

Ibrooker's avatar

Do men or women have a higher pain threshold?

Asked by Ibrooker (60points) September 22nd, 2008

By biological reasoning or conditioning.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

40 Answers

osullivanbr's avatar

Women!! I get jittery when I get a headache, couldn’t imagine giving birth.

basp's avatar

Women have a higher threshhold. Partly biological, partly conditioning.

Celeste00's avatar

Ask a man who’s passed a watermelon through his penis. I say women.

Nimis's avatar

By biological reason, women have a higher threshold for physical pain?
By biological reason, men have a higher threshold for emotional pain?

Ibrooker's avatar

What about women who haven’t experienced giving birth, etc? Are they naturally equipped with some sort of pain tolerance that is absent in men?

deaddolly's avatar

WOMEN! Reasons being childbirth and menses.

Ibrooker's avatar

Also, if one were to punch a woman and a man with the same force, I feel that a woman’s response is far more dramatic. Acting?

Nimis's avatar

Their pain threshold is erm…event specific.
That’s when the body releases the you-don’t-feel-a-thing hormones.

Nimis's avatar

When she’s crying, she’s actually laughing at your puny little arms.
Just kidding.

Celeste00's avatar

Men’s response is much less immediately dramatic, but women will put up with abuse for much longer.

Nimis's avatar

Just ‘cause you put up with it longer, doesn’t mean it hurts less. :(

jessehattabaugh's avatar

As far as I know there are no techniques for objectively measuring the amount of pain that is either being inflicted upon, or experienced by a person. If you could craft a study where you could inflict measurably similar amounts of pain upon a person, and then measure the amount of pain they were experiencing using some method that was more accurate than just asking them how much it hurts, then you could know the answer to this. Perhaps someone else has heard of techniques for accomplishing this, but I haven’t so I would say that none of us really knows.

Sloane2024's avatar

I’ll have to say it’s definitely women. We can tolerate insane amounts of stress, menstruation pains, sickness, and loss all at the same time without whining half as much as some men I’ve heard out there. I’ve seen men moan and groan like their foot’s been cut off from blisters induced by new dress shoes while standing next to a woman in 4-inch tall stilettos that she’s been walking in for 8 hours and not batting an eye at the waves of pain shooting through her legs.

However, there are MANY girls who whine and complain about the most insignificant pains purely for the attention they receive from it…. and that makes me sick.

generalspecific's avatar

I once read that redheads can tolerate 25% more pain.
Dunno if it’s true but I thought it was neat anyway.

asmonet's avatar

Women, because of childbirth.

@General: I don’t think it’s quite that high, redheads do have some genes that make pain receptors wonky, I know something like 80% of natural redheads need extra anesthesia for surgery. I know you’re right, I’m just not sure about the number.

Celeste00's avatar

@generalspecific as a redhead, I can tell you that’s not true. I’m kind of a wimp.

asmonet's avatar

There’s the link I shoulda bothered myself enough to get, many thanks girly. :)

tinyfaery's avatar

I think men are just more likely to complain. Women are expected to do it all, and wear pearls and a smile.

Nimis's avatar

Wait a minute…anesthesia is for dulling pain.
If redheads need more of it, doesn’t that imply they have a lower tolerance?

generalspecific's avatar

@Nimis: yes, I had it backwards I suppose

Comedian's avatar

I’m a woman and I have ADHD, so I feel pain more

jca's avatar

i know when men are sick they cry and moan like babies. it’s the end of the world.

i have heard, however, that when men pass kidney stones it’s no joke (not that having a baby is a day at the beach, either. it feels like shitting out a watermelon).

SpatzieLover's avatar

Is this question for real?

Women of course.

Do men give birth? Do men menstrate?

No. Most men have no idea what ‘real’ pain is.

Nimis's avatar

Not all women have pain during menstration!

augustlan's avatar

I am a natural redhead, and in my day-to-day life I have a very low tolerance for pain. I am such a wimp that hot water can burn me, putting my hand in the oven (not touching it) can burn me, I wear long sleeves and oven mitts when frying anything. I get hurt when someone lightly pokes me in the arm (and get a bruise to boot!)

That said, when I am prepared for pain, I am a champ. I rarely ever get novacaine at the dentists office, I have had growths removed and amniocentisis without any anasthetic (not even local), and have given birth to 3 children with no epidural. Go figure.

shadling21's avatar

Any creature who can wear high heels has a high threshold for pain.

Nimis's avatar

Aug: Was doing some reading and your observations are pretty spot on.
Redheads supposedly have a lower tolerance for pain—especially to heat.
They also have a higher tendency to bruise.
Though, personally, I would think the pale skin would just be more likely to show bruises?

But GOOD NEWS, you’re supposed to have a higher tolerance for electric shock.
I’m sure that’ll come in handy one day.

augustlan's avatar

Oh, no doubt!

Comedian's avatar

@Spatzie: AMEN!

MissAnthrope's avatar

According to this article, the women having a higher threshold thing is not true.

“But recent research has called into question the assumption that women have greater pain tolerance. Science is providing new insights into pain relief, anesthesia and, oddly enough, redheads.

“Jeffrey Mogil, Ph.D., is professor of pain studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He explains that while not all studies have found sex differences, those which have all point in the same direction that contradicts conventional wisdom. “Females are more sensitive to pain, less tolerant and more able to discriminate different levels of pain than males,” he says. This is true in studies of both humans and animals.”

Response moderated
osullivanbr's avatar

That’s so funny. You’re calling all of us stupid but you let people punch you and hit you with rulers. Hmmm. And we’re stupid?

MissAnthrope's avatar

^^^ ROFL. GA x 10.

I would like to note that I have burned my arms on the oven plenty of times (I am clumsy and always injuring myself in stupid, random ways) and not complained about it. My is a chef and her arms are scarred in stripes all along the tops of her forearms from accidentally touching the oven coils over the years (maybe it’s genetic, ha). That’s not much to brag about, d00d.

MissAnthrope's avatar

My wifi connection is super crappy today and I missed the edit post cutoff. That should be my mom is a chef...

Response moderated
HurtIsPartOfLife's avatar

Well, this is only my theory. I think women do have a higher threshold for pain. Men, this topic doesn’t go high on your I’d-like-to-talk-about-it list: Menstruation. Now, you men won’t know, but every time we have it, it hurts like hell, I’m sure. I think that builds our pain threshold.

Some more than others. Some are ‘heavy’, that means more pain. Sorry if this is making you uncomfortable, but it’s part of my theory. Anyway, some are ‘light’, which means less pain. Heavy can, in my opinion handle more pain than light.

But then, not at all to do with my first theory, is life. Like, people that get abused physically (hate that, some people are just sick in their heads, ugh) have a higher pain thresholds than those who have a lovey-dovey home space. The physical pain you receive every day adds up to your threshold.

Some of it is just genetic, really. Can’t explain it, it just happens. It’s genetic in my family.

Then, last, your mind. Your mind is a very powerful organ. Some can build such ‘walls’ let’s say, that they can block out pain. It’s amazing. They may feel the pain, but their minds (controlled by the person, duh) ‘shoves’ it away and ignore it completely. These ‘mind walls’ are actually very handy but not always good.

These are just my THEORIES. So don’t judge and don’t be all moody about it or anything. These theories are not to break your ego or let you feel less ‘stronger’, it’s only a theory.

Thanks, (maybe you should be thanking me, because I think these are some very good theories) haha.



anewman66's avatar

God women are pretentious… to assume that having babies and periods are the only “real” sources of pain is obnoxious and one of the things I dislike about western women. They make a comparison to something that can’t be compared to because we can’t experience it and therefore exclaim (in what they insanely declare as logic) that we can’t handle it. Try giving women 3rd degree burns on 45% of their bodies… or compund, comminuted fractures of the femur, tibia and fibula and see if they remain conscious or immediately scream for a fucking spinal block… THEN come back to ME and tell me what real pain is. Fucking lumps.

anewman66's avatar

Pain is subjective… watch this video of a Monk… he is a man… but he still “can’t handle having a baby”? ... I think he could easily pass a watermelon through his penis…

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