Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mogil of McGill

Since May I've had a clipping from the Otago Daily Times sitting amongst my various papers that I haven't done anything further with. One of those things that intrigue but you just never quite get round to making use.

Well, the time has come: the paper is starting to discolour (not helped by being on a table one which the sun shines strongly for part of the day) and if I don't do it now it won't get done at all.

The piece concerns some research done by one Prof Jeffrey Mogil of McGill University and relates to the pain threshold differences between men and women. Now the first reaction to such a statement will be to say that women endure pain more readily than men - think 'giving birth' as one of the prime examples.

No, says Prof Mogil of McGill. Overall, men endure pain more than women, even apart from the fact of the pain of labour in pregnancy. A random street survey in which people are asked who endures pain more will come up saying that women do, but Mogil says this is incorrect.

Another interesting aspect of Mogil's findings is that women are 'the vast majority of chronic pain patients.' 'When controlled pain studies are done, not every study finds a difference between the sexes' in terms of pain thresholds. 'But every time a difference is found [my italics], it finds women are more senstive to pain, and less tolerant of it.'

Well it's nice to come across a study that doesn't tell what we already know, but turns accepted wisdom on its head.

You can read a more detailed report of Mogil of McGill's research work on the Boston.com page.

Somewhat connected with what's gone before, in relation to the differences between men and women, there's little doubt that young men suffer more from acne than young women. Just one of those facts of life (in fact, related to the facts of life!). MD Clear is given the all clear in terms of being a helpful method of reducing the problems relating to acne. I don't know what the MD stands for, though I suspect that it's meant to signify that Medical Doctors approve of this product. Let's hope they do!

The neat photo is by Shira Gal, from Flickr.com
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