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Men VS Women: Pain Tolerance

Updated on December 30, 2013
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Which is the stronger gender?

It's just another component of the age old battle between the sexes. Which gender feels more pain? The answer isn't as cut and dry as you might hope.

While studies and reports may show a leaning toward one gender over another in the tolerance and threshold of pain; it remains an individual experience for both men and women. Some men are tougher than other men, just as some women are more pain tolerant than other women.


Factors to consider:

Perception and expectation play a large roll in the reporting and degree of tolerance in pain. Men brought up to believe that they need to be "macho" or to "suck it up" may feel that it is their duty to deny the true level of pain they experience. Likewise, there are women who are raised to believe that complaining about pain shows weakness. Overall, the general population is raised or conditioned to believe that women are the more delicate gender, allowing them to express discomfort without ridicule.

There have been no tests to date which can chart specifically how much pain an individual is experiencing. The best researchers can do at this point is test the willing subjects and ask them to identify their pain level on a scale of 1-10. Not the most accurate form of measurement.

Men vs Women: Feel the Pain

Hard Labor:

Women give birth, so they may argue that they clearly can tolerate more physical pain than a man. While some women do give natural childbirth without the use of drugs or pain inhibitors, the defense of giving birth by someone who has used a pain inhibitor cannot be considered valid. You aren't feeling the pain if you've drugged yourself not to feel it. The rise in the amount of these labor drugs coupled with their increasing and widespread growth only works in favor of men for this argument. If women were really that much tougher, why would they want these inhibitors so badly and why would they be so popular?

Most men make it quite clear that they do not envy women for the ability to give birth. If the responsibility lay with men to accomplish this part of the reproductive process, there would be far fewer people in the world. By a man's logic "Why would I keep putting myself through that kind of pain when I know how to prevent it? One kid would be enough and I would be done!"


Myth Busters: Men vs. Women - No Pain No Gain

Gender Pride & Ego

Both men and women feel that their gender is superior to the other, why wouldn't they? If you're a man it is only natural to be proud of being a man. If you're a woman it is only natural to be proud of being a woman. Since no man or woman has experienced the other side of things, neither has a true idea of what it's like to be the other gender (and I doubt there are too many people who would want to make that switch).

Fun, playful banter over the battle of the sexes is healthy and enjoyable for both sides. It can lead to educational debates, self study, a better understanding of your friend or partner, and many other positive attributes. It's when we start to take it too seriously or too personally that things start to get ugly.

Hating men for being men, or hating women for being women is just silly. There is no line while you're waiting to be born that says "So which gender will you be choosing to go to Earth as?" Why blame someone for something that is completely beyond their control?

What it all boils down to is this: we need each other. Without men the human race would die out, just as it would if there were no women. We compliment one another. Why fight over the differences that are there for a reason? We weren't built to be the same. That doesn't make one better than the other. It just makes us different and sometimes different is good!

So who's tougher?

Again, it works on an individual basis. Not all men are stronger than all women. Not all women are stronger than all men. When dealing with the subject of pain tolerance and pain threshold, I'm sorry to say ladies, the men take the lead in current studies.

Personal experiences may vary.

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    • profile image

      Bruna 

      6 years ago

      I was curious if you ever toughht of changing the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what you've got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. You've got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Like I said this is a really great hub, voting you up and awesome!

    • Mom Kat profile imageAUTHOR

      Mom Kat 

      8 years ago from USA

      Thanks for sharing your personal experience Shyron. It's true, pain perception is on an individual basis, like you said. This hub points out what the "tests" have discovered over the issue.

      In our house I'm the one with the highest pain threshold & tolerance. My hubby is a bit of a tender foot. The funny part about that is he's military & I'm a redhead. (redheads are reported to have a lower tolerance for pain than everyone else)

      Thanks for stopping by & commenting. I'll check out your hub :)

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      8 years ago from Texas

      I think it depends on the person. My husband can tolerate more

      pain than most people, men or women. He has been to hell and back.

      Read my hub, "Count down to a miracle".

      This is a really great hub.

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