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"Brave men" and "Emotional women"...

News: Mar 12, 2018

… is a literature review on gendered norms about men and women with chronic pain and gender bias in the treatment of pain. The 77 included articles demonstrate a variety of gendered norms about men’s and women’s perception and expression of pain, their identity, coping strategies and lifestyle. For instance, several studies showed that women with pain risked to be psychologized and perceived as hysterical. Other studies showed that men with women dominated diagnoses felt threatened in their sense of masculinity.

The concept of hegemonic masculinity describes a pattern of idealized masculine attributes, like physical strength, autonomy and self-reliance, against which both men and women are evaluated. The concept of andronormativity claims that masculinity and male values can dominate to such an extent that female values become (or remain) invisible. The concepts of hegemonic masculinity and andronormativity could explain why medical conditions that do not fit into the traditional biomedical system can be met with skepticism and helplessness by health care providers. It could also explain why women’s pain reports are frequently mistrusted and their pain can be perceived as atypical, despite the fact that women dominate most pain diagnoses.

This literature review shows a variety of gendered norms about men and women with pain. Awareness about gendered norms is important, both in research and clinical practice, in order to counteract gender bias in health care and to support health care professionals in providing more equitable care that is more capable to meet the need of all patients, men and women.



Page Manager: Katarina Englund|Last update: 1/2/2015

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