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花旗国的半边天

An Exploration of Women's Issues

 
 
 

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男女对痛楚的感知有所不同?(Where Does It Hurt? Men and Women Feel Pain Differently)  

2011-07-12 08:53:29|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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男女对痛楚的感知有所不同?(Where Does It Hurt? Men and Women Feel Pain Differently) - 美国马尾妹 - 花旗国的半边天
 传统的看法认为,女性比较不能忍受痛楚,个个都是 哭包,一点轻微的不适都会导致她们嚎哭。男性则被认为更加坚强,能忍受强烈的痛楚,丝毫不退缩。与其他的传统看法一样,这种二分的说法过于绝对,没有多大 的依据。但是,科学调查显示,男性和女性实际上对痛楚的感知方式的确不同。说明这些区别的研究固然为传统观念的正确性提供了有趣的争论素材,但它们真正的 重要性在于,通过增加对两性接受痛楚的区别的理解,为男女提供更加有效的治疗。

According to conventional stereotypes, women are bad at dealing with pain. They're crybabies that whine at the slightest discomfort. It is men who are supposed to be tough, withstanding intense pain without so much as a flinch. As with any stereotype, this dichotomy is grossly generalized and has little to no foundation in fact. However, scientific research has suggested that men and women do in fact experience pain in different ways. Studies that demonstrate this difference provide interesting material for debates over the veracity of the stereotype, but their true importance lies in creating the most effective treatments for both sexes by better understanding how gender affects pain reception.


Recent studies of pain have shown that women typically report experiencing pain more frequently and more severely than men do. In particular, women experience more migraines and more back and joint pain. The reason that women experience more pain is uncertain; some believe it is linked to the hormonal variations caused by women's menstrual cycles, while others point to brain circuitry. When men experience pain, regions of the brain linked to external functions are activated, but when women experience pain, regions involved with internal functions and emotion are activated, which may make the experience of pain more severe. In addition to suggesting that men and women experience varying levels of pain, studies have also shown that traditional pain treatments work differently for men and women. Morphine, which is commonly used for pain treatment, is absorbed by men's spinal cords more easily than it is by women's, meaning that it works less effectively for women. Research has shown that women may need to use as much as two times the dosage as men do to experience the same relief. For this reason, it is particularly crucial that scientists gain a better understanding of the effect of gender on pain experiences. Because preliminary pain research suggests that women experience more pain but are less receptive to pain relief, there is a clear need for the creation of more gender specific pain medications.


Unfortunately, research about gender and pain experience is complicated by the stereotypes that insist that men deal with pain better than women. These stereotypes create societal expectations that make it harder for men to talk about pain. Without the societal expectation that they silently bear pain, women are willing to discuss their pain and are also more likely to seek medical help for their pain. Men, on the other hand, are expected to stoically withstand pain and as a result are generally more reluctant to talk about their pain. This may cause them to downplay the extremity of their pain, which complicates the findings of studies crucial to understanding gender differences in pain. Such complications make the science of pain imprecise and hinder the development of the most effective pain medications for both genders.


Thus, to develop the best pain relief for both men and women, it is necessary not only to understand how men and women's brains register pain differently, but also to change the social norms that create different expectations for how men and women should express the pain that they feel.



讨论:你认为这些对痛楚感知的研究是否可靠? (Discussion Question: How reliable do you think studies about how pain is experienced are?)


Sources:

"Brain Briefings: Gender Pain." Society for Neuroscience. Society for Neuroscience, May 2007. Web. 
     11 July 2011. <http://www.sfn.org/index.aspx?pagename=brainBriefings_Gender_and_Pain>. 
Kritz, Francesca Lunzer. "Not Feeling Each Other's Pain." The Washington Post 19 Dec. 2006: n. pag. 
     The Washington Post. Web. 11 July 2011. <http://washingtonpost.com>. 


Image:
A female nurse giving another woman an injection
By Uncredited WPA photographer (Works Progress Administration photograph via [1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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