Sex and gender as social-contextual factors in pain

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

8 Citations (SciVal)


Pain does not operate in a social vacuum. The environment we are in, and the people who occupy it can influence how pain is perceived, experienced, and managed. This chapter argues that sex and gender are relevant social-contextual factors that should be considered when exploring and managing pain. It illustrates this by reviewing the evidence for sex differences in pain, before exploring why these male-female differences might exist. Central to psychosocial accounts is the notion of gender, which points to sociocultural influences, and the impact that gender-based beliefs and expectations have on pain and pain-related behavior. A range of relevant evidence for sex and gender as social context is presented, including research into dyadic interactions, pain expression, and communication. This chapter should be of interest to those studying social-contextual and interpersonal factors in pain, as well as those interested in understanding how social factors help explain why men and women vary in pain.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial and Interpersonal Dynamics in Pain
Subtitle of host publicationWe Don't Suffer Alone
EditorsT. Vervoort, K. Karos, Z. Trost, K. M. Prkachin
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783319783406
ISBN (Print)9783319783390
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Communication
  • Femininity
  • Gender
  • Gender roles
  • Masculinity
  • Nonverbal behavior
  • Pain
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Sex and gender as social-contextual factors in pain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this