Women tend to forget pain that they suffered more quickly than men, confirmed a new study in mice and humans, challenging the widely held belief that the fairer sex are more sensitive to pain than men. The study, by researchers from Canada’s University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), showed that men and women remembered earlier painful experiences differently.
The findings, which were confirmed in both mice and humans, could lead to the development of groundbreaking new ways to treat chronic pain. The research was conducted by Jeffrey Mogil, who is a professor of Pain Studies.
“We set out to do an experiment looking at pain hypersensitivity in mice and found these surprising differences in stress levels between male and female mice,” said Professor Mogil. “So we decided to extend the experiment to humans to see whether the results would be similar.”
“We were blown away when we saw that there seemed to be the same differences between men and women as we had seen in mice.”
Further, human participants were asked to wear a tightly inflated blood pressure cuff and exercise their arms for 20 minutes, while each mouse received a diluted injection of vinegar designed to cause a stomach ache for about 30 minutes. When the next day the participants returned to either the same or a different room and heat was again applied to their arms or hind paws, men rated the heat pain higher than they did the day before, and higher than the women did.