Pain perceptions, emotions and gender

Bendelow, Gillian (1993) Pain perceptions, emotions and gender. Sociology of Health and Illness, 15 (3). pp. 273-294. ISSN 01419889

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Abstract

This research explores the relationship between perceptions of pain and the social characteristics of the individual, with a focus on the role of gender in the process, with an emphasis on the meaning of lay understanding of the phenomena of pain. In order to broaden the definition of pain a multi-method form of enquiry was adopted and significant gender differences were found in the emphasis on the role of the emotions and the social expectations of the ability to cope in experiences and perceptions of pain. Analysis of the qualitative fieldwork revealed how experiences of pain incorporate feelings and vulnerabilities, existential and religious beliefs as well the sensory components. The attribution, by both sexes, of the superior capacities of women in coping with pain are linked to their biological and reproductive functioning, but are underpinned by cultural expectations of roles and socialisation. The findings of the study both reflect the particular experiences of people living in a multi-racial inner-city area, and provide a basis for developing new approaches to the understanding of pain, and the relationships between pain, gender, culture and embodiment.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Gillian Bendelow
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:57
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2012 08:57
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23205
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