Statistically, it’s been shown that if a woman presents with chronic pain that doesn’t have an immediately diagnostic cause, she’s more likely to be seen as having a mental health condition than to be referred for further tests. She’s much more likely to be dismissed with a recommendation of a sedative or an antidepressant medicine than an analgesic or opioid pain medication, which men would be offered.
What we haven’t done, I don’t think, is looked at those myths and asked, “Well okay, how has this actually interrupted and steered how we understand women’s health?” Those myths perpetuate because we just haven’t spent enough money, dedicated enough research, given enough visibility to representing women in knowledge in the contemporary era of medicine.
There is a logical possibility here. That more cases of chronic pain in women do have mental rather than physical causes when compared to men.
I don’t insist that this is true, only that it is logically possible. Therefore it’s something that needs to be studied in order to decide upon it.