How Doctors Gaslight Women into Doubting Their Own Pain



By Suzannah Weiss in Broadly Vice.


f all the ways women are disadvantaged in society, one of the most overlooked yet most fundamental is the way in which women’s physical health is misunderstood and neglected.

Medical research tends to use male subjects and overlook conditions experienced primarily by women. A 2007 study in the Journal of Women’s Health found that just 24 percent of participants in 46 drug trials from 2004 were women. A 2011 study in the same journal found that the median enrolment of women in federally funded 2009 clinical trials in nine medical journals was 37 percent—the same as it had been five years prior.

This also applies to animals: An analysis of 2,000 animal studies in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews found that single-sex neuroscience studies on male animals were 5.5 times as common as those on females. And although 90 percent of women report at least one PMS symptom, five times as many studies have been dedicated to erectile dysfunction, a problem experienced by 19 percent of men, according to a ResearchGate analysis.


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