Aranda K. Feminist theories and concepts in healthcare.London: Palgrave; 2018

Bourdieu P. Masculine domination.Cambridge: Polity Press; 2001

Chapman EN, Kaatz A, Carnes M. Physicians and implicit bias: how doctors may unwittingly perpetuate health care disparities. J Gen Intern Med. 2013; 28:(11)1504-1510

FitzGerald C, Hurst S. Implicit bias in healthcare professionals: a systematic review. BMC Med Ethics. 2017; 18:(1)

Maybin S, Serpell MG. Visceral pain. In: Colvin L, Falcon M (eds). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell; 2012

Schreiber JA, Cantrell D, Moe KA Improving knowledge, assessment, and attitudes related to pain management: evaluation of an intervention. Pain Manag Nurs. 2014; 15:(2)474-481

Unconscious bias: gynaecological pain, the elephant in the womb!

26 October 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 19

Unconscious bias, which is deeply ingrained and often hard to recognise, impacts decisions in ways we may not realise (Bourdieu, 2001). Implicit bias, shaped by repeated exposure to real-world interactions, also plays a significant role in this phenomenon (Chapman et al, 2013). As such, in health care, intuitive decision-making can be a double-edged sword. It can help during emergencies but can also lead to discrimination and biases, especially in complex situations. In addition, hidden and automatic biases, which are further strengthened by unquestioned repeated practices, have a significant impact on daily healthcare interactions (FitzGerald and Hurst, 2017).

Historically, gynaecology occupied a marginalised position within the realm of surgical care, often relegated to the status of a ‘Cinderella service’. This perception stemmed from societal attitudes and gender biases, which influenced how gynaecological surgeries were viewed in comparison with other surgical specialties. Gynaecology, being predominantly focused on women's reproductive health, was sometimes considered less prestigious or less prioritised than other surgical fields such as orthopaedic surgery or general surgery.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content