Science says he is better able to withstand pain. Alternatively, he may not feel it as much. Whatever the reason, the same painful stimulus is worse for you than it is for him. Some have suggested this is all a matter of men being macho, but some smart studies (see links below) have found there is more to it.
Among other things, pain activates different parts of male and female brains. In women, much of the activation is in parts of the brain involved in emotion. In men, there is more activation in parts of the brain involved in thinking. When men focus on the pain, rather than the emotions of the pain, they can tolerate pain even better. For women focusing on the pain does not help.
This is why he gives you grief when you complain about pain from what he sees as a minor injury. It is why he gets frustrated when you make a big deal about his “minor injuries”. Understanding the gender differences at play here could help you both offer more grace when one of you is hurt.
Side Note: Estrogen increases a woman’s ability to tolerate pain. This helps a woman deal with the pain of childbirth, and it means her sensitivity to pain varies during her cycle.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and duct tape can fix any injury short of accidental amputation.