A viral video that was first posted on Mother’s Day shows two men undergoing a simulation meant to mimic the pain experienced by women in childbirth.
“It feels like someone is taking a saw and just carving up my abdomen,” one of the men says while writhing as electrodes attached to his midsection send a current of pain-inducing electricity through his body.
“I’m going to throw up,” says his fellow guinea pig.
The video, which has been spreading across social media sites, has been generating lots of attention as some viewers say it is a great example of how men can show empathy for the challenges of pregnancy and childbirth. And, of course, most people just think it’s kind of funny.
But is it real?
For starters, the men don’t give their names, organization or even a real explanation of why they are undergoing the experiment. According to Vimeo, the video was originally published by the Kensington Church, based in Troy, Mich. However, according to public records, Dr. Julie Masters, whom the pair visited for their experiment in the video, is a real doctor in Michigan, and the labor pain simulator is a real thing, too.
Back in January, Dennis Storm and Valerio Zeno, the male co-hosts of the Dutch TV program “Guinea Pigs,” underwent the experiment for the benefit of their viewers.
“It was torture for me," Zeno said afterward. "I don't know if I dare make my wife pregnant."
And while the simulator was meant to replicate the intensifying pain of childbirth, at least one expert remained skeptical of just how accurate the results were.
“You can think of this as a very strong charley horse,” Dr. Jennifer Ashton told ABC News. “Is it as painful as labor? My opinion would be it isn’t.”
For their part, Storm and Zeno underwent the simulator for two hours. According to ABC, the average labor lasts 14 hours.