But that rule should be shunned. It's not week to say 'Owch.' A man's not a 'girly' when he groans after being hit in the stomach or falls with an injury on the sports field.
Researchers, from the National University of Singapore, writing in the Journal of Pain say the reason behind our spontaneous groans is to help us tolerate pain.
In a study, 56 people were asked to immerse their hands in chilling water. Those who voiced their pain were able to stand the trauma for up to three-and-a-half minutes longer.
One theory is that the muscle movements involved in making such an exclamation interfere with the pain messages that reach the brain.
Writers of the journal said, “These results provide the first evidence that vocalising helps individuals cope with pain. It is also the first evidence that saying “ow” modulates pain. Until now, the idea that vocalising is analgesic has never been tested.”
Pain-related exclamations such as “ow” were pretty similar in most cultures - "eina" in South Africa, "ahia" in Italy, "aiyo" in Chinese and “ouch” in the US.
When the nurses came to insert a catheter into my husband a few weeks ago, the took him into the bedroom. I heard him yell, 'uggghhh.' It seems he was doing the best thing possible to help him cope.
I'm inclined to grunt if I experience pain in my mall-formed, and now artificial, hips when I'm walking. From now on, I'm going to express my pain in the sure and certain knowledge that using that form of coping mechanism is the best thing I can do.
Reject society's stigma that men must button up any expression of pain. We are all human and we all feel pain.
How do you cope with pain?