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Americans take less seriously the pain of girls than boys, which is a new study



The child's finger is drawn to the doctor and the child is called. “Ow! Ah! Oh!

How much pain an adult American believes a young patient will suffer will depend on whether they think the child is a girl or boy, according to a study published this month in the Children's Psychology Journal. Those who know a patient patient like "Samuel" will find that he is more painful than those known to the patient as "Samantha", although Samuel and Samantha are actually the same 5-year-olds whose shoulder length is light hair, red T-shirts and gym do not briefly refer to male or female qualities.

The child's finger prick test was taken in a short video that was played by 264 adults, men and women aged 18 to 75 years. On average, the participants said they were watching how the boy reacted to a visit to his precedergarten doctor, ranging from 0 (no pain) to 100 (severe pain) as 50.42, but for those who indicated that the patient was a girl, her pain was rated as 45.90. When the researchers controlled explicit gender stereotypes – the belief that boys are more stupid – the difference has disappeared, suggesting that prejudices about the readiness of male and female children to show pain were beyond the belief that this particular boy was really terrible because he had moved to shout.

The results described by leading author Brian D. Earp as "a new research area" contribute to the understanding of the gender differences in pain, which have been primarily studied in the context of adults. They add additional dimensions to the pain assessment research, determined by race, based on dubious concepts of biological differences between black and white. And they suggest a possible need for course corrections in pediatric care, where healthcare providers may have the same trends that affect society.

"Adults have a lot of authority and authority, saying," That's how I feel. "We express ourselves in nuanced ways," Eale, an associate director of ethics and health policy at the Yale-Hastings program, said in an interview with The Washington Post. "But small children and how they visit depend on adult judgments in the room. Understanding these structures of justice is important for fair health care. "

In an opinion that struck the authors of the document, the decline in female pain was caused by female participants, who more often than men claimed that subject pain was less severe when they said she was a girl.

"It's a big secret," said Earp. "We're spitballing to come up with a reason."

A similar dynamics seems to have appeared in a 2014 study that the new document is a model in which a disproportionate sample of female nurses and psychology students looked at the same video as in a recent study and rated Samuel as more painful than Samantha, albeit with identical behavior. The fact that the training of these medical service providers was among the participants shows that moving to the health care profession. Their answers reinforce the idea that gender prejudices on how children feel pain affect even those who can make decisions about healthcare, »said Earp.

"It's a preliminary result, but we're pretty sure there is there," he said.

Earlier research author Lindsey Cohen, Professor of Psychology at the State University of Georgia, said in an interview that he had long wondered whether the results published in the magazine "Child Health Care" would detain men.

They don't seem to do it. In the new study, the gender of the young patient did not affect the ratings offered by 156 men, among several hundred who watched the video.

The discovery is "a certain tension", writes in the notes with the conclusions of the related experiments, though not the main finding that the boy's pain is taken more seriously. For example, a 2008 study found that a father's cold squeeze test assessed his son's pain higher than their daughter's pain in which the subject immersed himself in the ice water tank. The mothers had no difference.

Meanwhile, studies have shown that young children, because of their gender, do not feel pain differently from adults, both in terms of sensitivity and clinical risk. Sex hormones designed to take into account differences are not available before puberty. Studies of how adults, however, come to different conclusions about child pain are mostly limited to their parents' attitude, which has a unique point of view.

The new study is accessible to a wider audience. And the obvious prejudices of the women surveyed were not surprising for Kate Manne, Cornell University philosopher and Down Girl: The Misogny logic. She said it was logical to conclude that women appreciate their pain as less severe.

"Because women have more pressure on proper sympathy for pain, and as we take the pain of men seriously, it makes sense that women are at least as bad, if not worse," said Manne.

The results, though not surprising, were "really sad" she observed. "We need to worry about the fact that seemingly all the same, perceived sex and some gender stereotypes are enough to make little girls' pain respond to less concern."

If the boys tend to underestimate their pain, Earp said there might be a good reason to consider the same behavior that reflects a more intense pain in a man's theme that has been: "The boys don't cry."

But Manne pointed out studies that questioned the idea that young boys had already learned to fill their emotions. Some analyzes show that boys are more likely than girls to express negative emotions – a model that changes only in adolescence.

"It is still possible that we are socializing boys to be stupid, but this harmful norm does not seem very strong," she said. "Then the results start to look really worrying because there is no reason to think that the boy really has more pain."

Earp said he would like the next study to introduce the racial factor that has been studied – revealing the "view of people behind the head that black people have a much thicker skin," he said – but rarely in combination with gender bias, especially among children.

Stark's examples are the consequences of racial biased pain assessment for both adults and children. Some of them are documented in the American Medical Association's Ethics Journal. Afro-Americans and Hispanics have been shown to receive lower doses of pain medication than whites. They wait longer for emergency treatment of pain. Their pain needs are taken less seriously in hospice care. Although studies have shown that African Americans report higher back pain, doctors write the opposite. Minority and low income children face difficulties in evaluating and treating oral pain.

For Earpam, this model suggests that the way adults interpret children's pain can affect their health by asking, "What are the consequences of this cognitive trend in real life?"


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