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Perceived Pain Tolerance and Self-Efficacy
in Men Versus Women



       The aim of this study was to evaluate self-efficacy levels and pain tolerance differences between men and women.  A control group of 5 men and 5 women were asked to submerge their arm in 30 degree Fahrenheit ice-water and hold it in as long as tolerable.  Their times were averaged and used for the experimental groups to base their pain performance expectations on.  The experimental groups were given the control group’s average times and asked to decide whether they felt they would keep their arm submerged below average, average, or above average in comparison to the control group.  They each then submerged their arm in the ice water as long as tolerable.  When looking at mean ice-water submergence times and expectancy choices, no significant differences were found between the 19 males and 19 females of the experimental groups.  Even though no significant differences between the sexes were discovered as our hypotheses predicted, the study still has important implications.  It looks at the weighty societal issue of what physical and psychological differences truly exist amid the sexes and the results may give insight that females are not as weak as society thinks.



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