This is a major point of contention in male-female couples: the setting of the thermostat. While mister prefers to stay in polar temperatures, Madame would choose the blaze of burning fires. But do men and women really feel the weather differently?
We all have in our entourage this “crazy” friend or family member: it can below zero outside but you’ll find them bare chested as if they are on a sandy beach in Florida during the summer. And usually, it’s always… a man. Women, on the other hand, seem more inclined to take out the parka as soon as the first frosts arrive. Is the fairer sex really more sensitive than its male counterpart to cold? Here is the answer of scientists.
In addition to observable facts, several studies have confirmed that women are more sensitive to cold than men. A study conducted in 2015 reveals that they are more comfortable at an average temperature 2.5 °C higher than that suitable for men, that is to say about 24 to 25 °C. Another article, published in 2007, emphasizes that if women are sensitive to cold, they are also more sensitive to heat.
On average, men and women have the same body temperature of 37 ° C. But at the level of the skin, things are a little different. In general, the epidermis of women is up to 3 °C cooler than that of men when exposed to the cold. A difference that begins to explain the differences in our perception of the cold.
The culprits behind this cooler skin are the female hormones. Estrogen substantially thickens female blood, reducing blood flow to the capillaries at the ends of the body. These capillaries are a like the windows of the body. When it’s cold, they limit the amount of blood flowing through the ends by reducing their diameter.
This tactic prevents the blood from losing too much heat by circulating on the periphery, which could cause a general cooling. When it is hot, however, the capillaries open wide, allowing to ventilate the body by refreshing the skin.
However, in women, this difference in the thickness of the blood tends to accelerate the rate at which the capillaries close the heating service in the event of a drop in temperature. That’s why your girlfriend or wife often feels much colder than you do.
Previous studies have also even shown that women are more sensitive to cold at the time of ovulation, when estrogen levels are at their highest.
Another factor involved: metabolism. This set of body chemical reactions dictates the amount of heat the body produces during the day. The higher your basal metabolism, the hotter you are. Women generally have a lower metabolism than men.