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Women's pain is routinely underestimated, and gender stereotypes are to blame – new research

By Amanda C de C Williams, Reader in Clinical Health Psychology & Science, Medicine & Society Network, UCL
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When a man consults a doctor about pain, he will hope to be taken seriously: to convince the doctor that the pain is real, and a problem that needs addressing. The experience is different for women, who may suspect that gender stereotypes could lead their doctor to conclude they’re not in as much pain as they say they are.

Unfortunately, this suspicion is valid. Evidence suggests that healthcare staff routinely underestimate patients’ pain, and particularly women’s pain, based on a number of biases and beliefs that have little to do with their actual testimony.

Now, a


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