Women Are Less Likely Than Men to Receive First-Aid Treatment

Latest research suggests that women are less likely than men to receive first aid that can save their lives, due to men being worried about the implications.

According to the University of Denver study, women are less likely to get help from passersby mostly because they don’t want to be accused of inappropriate contact.

Talk about PC gone mad…

Men especially, the study found, think that manoeuvres like mouth to mouth resuscitation and chest compression can potentially be deemed as sexual assault. The study also found that people are more likely to worry about causing physical damage to women through first aid.

Research findings

The online research participants were asked to explain why women might be less likely to get CPR. The team identified some common themes in the replies:

  1. Potentially inappropriate contact
  2. Worry about being accused of sexual assault
  3. Worry about causing physical damage
  4. Poor knowledge, namely led by the perception that women are less likely to have heart issues, or may be over-dramatising an incident; or
  5. Worry about breasts making CPR more challenging.

Dr Sarah Perman, whose team ran the study, said “it is important to realise CPR is lifesaving and should be rendered to collapsed individuals regardless of gender”.

“It is important to realise CPR is lifesaving and should be rendered to collapsed individuals regardless of gender”

Supporting evidence

Previous research has shown that it is less likely for women to receive CPR if they collapse in a public place, so the findings of this latest study are not that surprising.

The findings of this study has also been supported by another study, this time a virtual reality based one run by the University of Pennsylvania. The participants of the VR study were put in emergency situations in a busy city. The study found that people were less likely to apply CPR to use automated external defibrillator if the victim was female.

Do something

Marion Leary, the lead researcher of the VR study, had this to say: “Doing something is better than doing nothing”.

We agree.

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