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Medical News & Perspectives
September NaN, 1998

Girls' and Boys' Differing Response to Pain Starts Early in Their Lives

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JAMA. 1998;280(12):1035-1036. doi:10.1001/jama.280.12.1035

IN JEANS and T-shirts, preteen girls and boys can look pretty much alike. But when they hurt, it's easy to tell them apart, according to specialists in childhood pain who spoke at a National Institutes of Health–sponsored conference on gender and pain in Bethesda, Md, in April—among the first on this topic.

Sex, along with age, cognitive level, and family and cultural styles, and in conjunction with the variety of pains children experience over time, all influence how children—like adults—express pain, behave when they have pain, and perhaps even how they perceive pain, according to Patricia McGrath, PhD, who is professor of paediatrics and director of the Paediatric Pain Program, Child Health Research Institute, at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.

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