Influence of Biological Sex, Trait Gender, and State Gender on Pain Threshold, Pain Tolerance, and Ratings of Pain Severity
The current study investigated pain threshold, pain tolerance, and pain severity in relation to sex, trait gender, and state gender using an experimental design. The participants included 232 women and 69 men. The BEM Sex Role Inventory was used to measure trait gender. State gender was assessed by randomly assigning participations to a feminine, a masculine, or a neutral prime. Pain was assessed using the cold pressor task. Participants were assessed for their pain threshold, pain tolerance, and pain severity at both threshold and tolerance. Two three-way interactions were found. For pain threshold, masculine males had the highest pain in the feminine prime, while masculine females had the highest pain in the masculine prime. For pain severity at threshold, feminine males reported less pain in the feminine condition, while androgynous males reported the highest pain in the feminine condition. For females, masculine females reported the least pain in the masculine prime, while androgynous females reported more pain in the neutral condition. The study supports the premise that both trait gender and state gender can play a role in influencing male's and female's responses to pain. Future research should explore these effects in patient populations.
Personality and Individual Differences
Martin, Rebecca M., "Influence of Biological Sex, Trait Gender, and State Gender on Pain Threshold, Pain Tolerance, and Ratings of Pain Severity" (2019). Psychology Faculty Publications. 21.