Research Highlights How Gender Pain Gap Keeps Women from Receiving Adequate Healthcare

A recently conducted survey has highlighted a clear disparity regarding the perceptions and experiences of pain in women and men.

The survey, which involved more than 5,000 individuals aged between 18 and 65 year old, found that about 50% of women did not receive needed support from their general practitioners when they tried getting help for their pain. This proportion is quite high, especially when compared to the 36% of men who experienced the same.

Roughly 63% of women also revealed that they felt men’s pain was deemed more serious because of gender discrimination by healthcare professionals. Additionally, more than 55% of women admitted to being ignored or dismissed as emotional when they brought up their pain.

This wasn’t confined to healthcare providers either, with about 24% of women admitting that generally, no one took the pain they experienced seriously.

The results of this survey, which were published in 2022 by Reckitt Benckiser, highlight a difference in how women are treated when they seek help for pain. Reckitt Benckiser manufactures Nurofen, a pain-relief drug that contains ibuprofen.

Professor Diane Hoffman of the University of Maryland coined the term gender pain gap, which highlights the disparity in the treatment of pain between women and men, more than two decades ago. In her research, the professor noted that while women were more likely to report suffering chronic pain from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, migraines and fibromyalgia, they were less likely to be treated sufficiently by healthcare professionals, in comparison to their male counterparts.

In a recent interview, Hoffman stated that decades later, little had changed despite the fact that there’s more awareness of disparity and diversity. Studies have shown that this bias is still prevalent in medical schools as well, with one 2015 study portraying worrying findings.

The study in question showed medical trainees avatars with similar symptoms but different sexes, finding that one-third possessed stereotypical attitudes that a woman’s pain had a lesser impact. These trainees posited that a woman’s pain was more psychological, with more females receiving recommendations for psychological and antidepressant treatment than males.

The assumption that a woman’s pain is associated with their emotions appears to be reigning in similar studies, with investigators highlighting this issue in the Scandinavian “Journal of Public Health” as a public health concern.

Moving forward, it is important that this issue be considered in any pain management and prevention strategies. This will help ensure that women are afforded the same quality of healthcare as their male counterparts. Encouraging diversity in clinical trials will also help develop new medicines that take into account how women’s responses to pain aren’t similar to men’s.

As the years go by and companies such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) commercialize new pain treatments from cannabis, all patients regardless of their gender will have a chance of getting a more effective remedy to their pain.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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