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If Women Are From Venus, They Brought Their Pain With Them


Mogil says that while this may be true for humans, "I don't think that the male mice ... are trying to be 'macho' or that the female mice are trying for demure." Mogil says that his animal experiments suggest that the experience of pain is gender-specific in several species.

"And this is what is really exciting," says Mogil. The male-female pain research has already turned up evidence that a class of painkillers called kappa-agonists is actually much more effective among women than among men.

Harden says he expects that there will be other painkillers that will also demonstrate gender-specific properties, but he says that will require more research because "when these drugs were developed, the clinical studies were only done in young men. We have no clinical trial data on women."

Meanwhile, Harden says there is enough scientific information to conclude that women are not more pain tolerant simply because "it is the women who have the babies, so they must be tougher" nor are they "wimps because they complain more about pain." Rather, he says women simply are different than men.


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