The child's finger is stuck in the office, and the child shouts. "Ow! Ah! Oh!"
How Much Adult Americans think the young patient suffers will depend on whether they believe a child is a girl or a boy, according to a study published this month in Journal of Pediatric Psychology. Those who know a sick patient like "Samuela" will conclude that he is more painful than those who know the patient as "Samantho", although Samuel and Samantha are actually the same 5-year-old whose blonde blonde hair, a red t-shirt with short sleeves and high heels do not immediately point to male or female characteristics.
The child's finger test was caught in a short video for 264 adults, men and women between the ages of 18 and 75. On average, the participants said they were watching the boy's reaction to a visit by a doctor who had stopped pre-school education and rated his pain, 0 (painless) to 100 (severe pain), 50.42, while those who received instructions to the patient girl rated her pain 45.90. When researchers controlled explicit gender stereotypes – the belief that boys were more stoic – the difference disappeared, indicating that bias on the willingness of male and female children to show pain, beyond the belief that this boy was indeed in a bad state because he was he moved to cry.
The results, as described by author Brian D. Earp as "a new area of research", contribute to the growing understanding of gender differences in pain, a topic that is mainly studied in the adult context. They add further dimensions to the research of the pain of the bribery of the race, based on the dubious notions of the biological differences between blacks and whites. They also suggest the need for correcting the course in pediatric care, where healthcare providers may show the same prejudices that affect the general public.
"Adults have a lot of authority and perseverance, saying," This is how I feel. "We're in a tiny way," said Earp, Assistant Director of Yale-Hastings's Ethics and Health Policy Program, in an interview with the Washington Post. "But little children, and how they care about them, depend on the judgment of adults in the room . Understanding the structure of these judgments is important for just health care. "
In a finding that surprised the authors of this paper, the reduction of female pain was triggered by female participants, who more often than men claimed that the pain of a subject was less serious when it came to being a girl.
"This is a great mystery," Earp said. "We are plagued to think of a reason."
Similar dynamics emerged in the 2014 survey that new paper takes as a model in which a sample of disproportionate female nurses and psychologists watched the same video as in a recent survey and rated Samuel to suffer more from Samanthe despite the same behavior. That training of medical staff among the participants suggests crossing the healthcare profession. Their responses support the idea that gender bias about how children express pain, even affects those who are in a position to make healthcare choices, said Earp.
"It's a preliminary result, but we're pretty sure it's there," he said.
Senior author of the earlier study, Lindsey Cohen, a psychology professor at Georgia's State University, said in an interview that she had long wondered whether their results, published in the Children's Health Care magazine, would remain among men.
They do not seem to know. In the new study, the sex of the young patient had no effect on the estimates offered by 156 male-participants, among the hundreds who watched the video.
The discovery is in "some tension," he says in the paper, with findings of related experiments, though not at the central conclusion that the pain of a boy is more seriously understood. For example, the 2008 survey found that the fathers 'sons' pains were rated higher than their daughter's cold pain in a cold-blood test, where a person slammed his hand in an ice-water container. The mothers did not show any difference.
Meanwhile, research has shown that young children are not experiencing pain differently because of sex in the way that adult populations make it, in terms of sensitivity and clinical risk. Polio hormones considered to be responsible for the difference are not present before puberty. Studies on how adults are coming to various conclusions about the pain of children are mostly limited to the views of their parents who enjoy a unique point of view.
A new study approaches the broader public. The apparent inclination of the woman who was questioned was not surprising to Kate Manne, a philosopher at Cornell University and the author of the book "Down Girl: Logic of Misogyny". She said that it was a logical conclusion that women rated their own pain as less serious.
"Because there is greater pressure on women to be properly sympathetic to pain, and since we are biased in the sense of a more serious understanding of male pain, it makes sense that women are at least as bad, if not worse," Manne said.
The results, though not surprising, were "really sad," she noted. "We need to be upset by the fact that everyone seems to be all the same, the observed gender plus several gender stereotypes are enough to respond to them a little bit with less worry."
If boys tend to underestimate their own pain, Earp said, there might be good reason to see the same behavior as a more intense pain in a male subject, who was convinced that "boys do not cry."
But Manne has pointed to research that casts doubt on the idea that young boys have already learned to pull their emotions. Some analyzes have revealed, however, that boys more often than girls express negative emotions in childhood, a pattern that changes only in adolescence.
"It's still possible to keep the boys together so that we can be stoic, but this disaster does not seem very powerful," she said. "Then the results start to look very disturbing, because there is no basis for thinking that the boy is actually more painful."
Earp said he would want his next study to introduce a racial factor that was explored – revealing "a glimpse into people's heads that black people have literally thicker skin," he said – but rarely in combination with gender prejudice, especially among children.
There are serious examples of consequences, both for adults and for children, of pain estimates on a racial basis. Some of them are documented in the Journal of Ethics of the American Medical Association. African Americans and Hispanics have been shown to receive lower doses of white pain medicines. Longer waiting in emergency room for painkillers. Their pains are less seriously understood in hospice care. Although research has shown that African Americans report back pain, clinicians record the opposite. Children from minority groups and low income children have more difficulty assessing and treating pain in their mouths.
Earwoo, this pattern suggests that the way adults express the pain of children can have consequences for their health, which leads to the question: "What are the implications of cure in real life from this cognitive bias?"