Sex­specific effects of gender identification on pain study recruitment

Mattos Feijó, Larissa, Tarman, Guliz Zeynep, Fontaine, Charlotte, Harrison, Richard, Johnstone, Tom, and Salomons, Tim (2018) Sex­specific effects of gender identification on pain study recruitment. The Journal of Pain, 19 (2). pp. 178-185.

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Epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory studies show sex differences in pain responses, with women more sensitive to nociceptive stimulation and more vulnerable to long-term pain conditions than men. Because of evidence that men are culturally reinforced for the ability to endure (or under-report) pain, some of these findings might be explained by sociocultural beliefs about gender-appropriate behavior. One potential manifestation of these effects might be differential participation in pain studies, with men adhering to stereotypical masculine roles viewing participation as a way to demonstrate their masculinity. To test this possibility, we assessed gender identification in 137 healthy participants. At the end of the assessment, they were asked if they would like to participate in other research studies. Interested participants were then asked to participate in a study involving administration of pain-evoking stimulation. We compared individuals who agreed to participate in the pain study with those who declined. We observed a significant Sex × Participation interaction in masculine gender identification, such that men (but not women) who agreed to participate identified significantly more with masculine gender. Among masculine gender traits examined, we found that high levels of aggression and competitiveness were the strongest predictors of pain study participation. Our results suggest that men in pain studies might have higher levels of masculine gender identification than the wider male population. Taken together with previous findings of lower levels of pain sensitivity (or reporting) in masculine-identifying male participants, these results suggest an explanation for some of the sex-related differences observed in pain responses.

Item ID: 73801
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1528-8447
Keywords: Sex; Gender; Study Participation; Pain; Masculine Gender Identification
Copyright Information: © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Pain Society.
Date Deposited: 18 May 2022 05:57
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520502 Gender psychology @ 50%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520503 Personality and individual differences @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology @ 100%
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