Women More Likely to Leave the Doctor's Office Feeling Like Crap


Ever walk out of your doctor’s office feeling guilty and gross? Recent studies suggest that’s more likely to happen to women than men—even though it’s a less effective doctoring tactic.

Quartz has the numbers, from two studies recently published in Basic and Applied Social Psychology. One surveyed students and found 26 percent of women said they’d been “shamed” by a doctor, mostly about sex, dental hygiene or weight. (Always with the flossing!) That’s compared to 15 percent of men. Another, broader study found that fully 53 percent of women felt “guilt or shame” thanks to something their doctors had said, versus 38 percent of men.

Because it’s so easy to bring up STDs even without knowing that you’re sure to get a patronizing fucking lecture.

But G.P.s should take note that actually, laying the guilt on thick doesn’t work worth a damn, among women especially:

“If you perceive your doctor is intentionally trying to make you feel shame or guilt,” lead author Christine Harris said in a press release, “then the reaction is exclusively negative. We didn’t see any positive reactions at all…Tough love and shaming don’t always work. In fact, they can be counter-productive.”

Researchers were also careful to note, though, that while doctors might be more likely to shame women, it could be that “women are likely to read situations differently than men, or more likely to pick up on a physician’s subtle intent to shame.” Maybe dudes are just blissfully oblivious, in other words.

Image via Shutterstock

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