Male vs. Female: What Hurts More? – Childbirth or Getting Kicked in the Balls

In Biology, Human Biology by Mystifact

The ultimate battle between the sexes is about to be settled right here in this article. Anytime this question is brought up it sparks great debate and it never ends well. We shall discuss in depth the similarities and differences to come to a non-biased conclusion. What hurts more; giving birth, or getting kicked in the testicles?

The battle of the sexes

A DEL is a supposed measure of pain. Studies claim that childbirth produces 57 DEL and getting kicked in the balls produces 9000 DEL. Funnily enough, the maximum amount of DEL of pain a human can experience is 45. Shocking, right? How can human pain exceed the human limit of pain? We must first understand what pain is.

What is pain?

The specialised nerve that allows us to feel pain is called a Nociceptor [1]. These neurons fire signals to the brain once a large enough stimulus acts on them. To test this, try putting a pin on your arm so that it is just about touching the skin. It shouldn’t hurt at all – but once you start pressing down harder and harder, eventually you start to feel pain. At this point the Nociceptors start to respond to the stimulus which is the pain threshold.

So why do we feel different levels of pain?

When Nociceptors fire signals; the signals never vary in size, they are always the same. This should mean that no matter how bad we hurt ourselves, pain should always feel the same… this is not the case. Imagine firing a gun; the gun is the Nociceptor and the bullet is the signal. The frequency at which we fire the gun determines how much damage is done to the object you are shooting. Firing one bullet in 5 seconds does less damage than firing 20 in the same time-frame at the same object. The same applies with these neurons; rapid firing of signals means you feel a lot more pain than if very infrequent signals are fired.

Childbirth and getting kicked in the Balls both increase the frequency of signals significantly, so who feels more pain?

Male vs. Female

The Testicles

Testicles are very precious organs. In fact, due to them being so precious they are coated in Nociceptors hence why they are so sensitive to pain [2]. After all, they are completely exposed to the outside world and are our only way of reproducing. This is why any kind of a direct blow to them is going to trigger incredibly frequent signals via the Nociceptors causing:

• Pain
• Nausea
• Sweating
• High blood pressure

Many nerves in the testicles are connected to the stomach and the Vagus nerve in the central nervous system. This is why pain spreads to the stomach after getting hit.

The Uterus

Hold your horses though; despite women not experiencing a ‘direct blow’ to any organs, the uterus, especially the vaginal opening, are also covered in Nociceptors and are very responsive to stimuli that may cause pain. Since the size of a baby is to pass through a hole the size of a ring if pregnant – it also triggers these neurons all over the place at very high frequencies, causing immense pain – not to mention labour lasts on average 8 hours. As the baby slowly passes through, the stretching of muscles also causes sharp localised pain.

So who wins?

The problem with comparing the measurement of pain, DEL, from individual to individual, is that everyone reacts to it differently. For example, someone could be in agony from a certain stimulus while someone else receiving the same stimulus could barely feel anything. This is why the measurement of DEL is incredibly inaccurate hence why both childbirth and getting a blow to the balls supposedly ‘exceed’ the amount of pain a human can feel, on this scale.

Due to this problem, there is no stable and reliable way of measuring pain which can be generalised for everyone.

It can be easily concluded that both hurt a lot. How much each one hurts each individual varies so this one is going to have to be a tie. Disappointing, I admit. I know you come here to find a winner but unfortunately, there is no definitive answer.

This result may have let you down, but don’t fret. Do check out my other posts as they may end up being more satisfying!

If you have any questions, leave them below and until next time, take care.

~ Mystifact


Please note; no copyright infringement is intended. All images used have been labelled for re-use on Google Images. If any artist or designer has any issues with any of the content used in this article, please don’t hesitate to contact me to correct the issue.

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