Racial Differences: Do Blacks Feel Less Pain Than Whites?


A new study conducted by a research team at the University of Virginia investigated the relationship between a white medical students’ belief of racial differences and their assessments of pain in black and white patients. There are a number of people who have false beliefs about physiological and racial differences between black and white people, and medical students are no different. The new study found that nearly half of the medical students believe that at least one of the 11 false beliefs about racial differences are possibly, probably or definitely true. The study results further depict that the medical students are probably swayed by false beliefs surrounding biological differences between white and black people. Donald Trump: Racial Remarks Not Good For His Health During the study, the researchers also found that white medical students tend to consider the physical pain of an African American patient less severe than that of a white patient under the same circumstances.Like us on Facebook According to the researchers, the tendency to get swayed by false beliefs, thus, also affects the kind of the treatment that such patients are prescribed. False belief that white patients feel more pain than their black counterparts in turn instigate doctors to treat the former most aggressively. The assumption that black people feel less pain than whites dates back to the 20th century. The belief that African Americans are more robust and strong than white Americans may arise from the assumption that only the strongest survived the physical rigors of slavery, reports LA Times. A number of studies conducted in the past have shown that under a wide range of medical scenarios and across different age groups, black people are less likely to be prescribed with pain medications. When they are prescribed pain medications, its dosage is less that what is prescribed to their white counterpart with the same condition. The complete details of the study have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Photo Sources: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Wikimedia