Why women feel colder than men

Highlights

  • Researchers have revealed that women feel colder than men.
  • A group of researchers from Tel Aviv University’s School of Zoology has added that it’s not only the case for humans but other species too.
  • Some of the primary reasons that female feel colder are higher core body temperature, hormone changes and slower metabolic rate.

You would have often heard that women feel colder than men. Researchers have now revealed that it’s just more than myth and it may be an evolutionary fact.  A group of researchers from Tel Aviv University’s School of Zoology has added that it’s not only the case for humans but many other species too.  

Scientist from Tel Aviv University (TAU), Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and University of Haifa came across a built-in difference between the heat-sensing systems of male and female. It probably related to parenting, reproduction and may be the need of “alone time”.

Eran Levin from the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History and TAU School of Zoology found that along with men and women fighting over the thermostat, male and female bats during the breeding season get segregated and male bats move in cooler areas while female bat give birth and raise their pups in warmer area.

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Other researchers have also shown the similar behaviors among birds and mammals.  In fact, males for various species often stand in shade while females in sun for heat. The team of researchers in Israel analysed behavior of thousands of birds and bat species for more than 40 years (between 1981 and 2018).

The findings clearly reveal that female often prefer higher temperature than the male and the difference in preference leads to segregation of male and female species at certain time during breeding cycle. The separation cuts down the competition over resources and keeps aggressive male species away to keep their babies safe. 

Here are some of the scientific reasons for why women feel colder than male:

  1. Women have higher core body temperatures than men

Body temperature depends on person to person, and it changes every day. But women’s body temperature tends to higher than men. That does not mean women usually feel warmer, it means when your body is warm, you feel colder.

  1. Higher body temperature on birth control

When a woman uses birth control, hormones affect the body temperature. Birth control affects the female hormones, which lead to increase in body temperature and making them more sensitive to cold. Also, depending on the hormone levels and menstrual cycle women’s body may change how it regulates temperature. 

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  1. Women have colder extremities

According to the research published in UK medical journal The Lancet, women’s hands and feet gets colder faster than men. Women produce less heat per unit of surface area and lose heat faster as they have a higher surface area as compared to the total volume of their bodies.

  1. Women have slower metabolic rates

Men have a metabolic rate of about 23 per cent higher than women, according to article published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Metabolic rate is a rate at which you burn food to fuel the body and make the body warmer. Slower metabolism also makes it difficult to lose weight than men and produce less heat, so they tend to feel colder. Our metabolic rate tends to slow as we get older.

  1. Building temperature are set based on male metabolic rates

Most workplace temperature is set based on a model developed in 1960s, which only take male metabolic rates into account and many overestimate women metabolic rate by up to 35%. According to a study by University of Southern California, lower temperature in workplace could also affect the productivity of women while men perform more efficiently in lower temperature. 

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Bottom Line

The difference in temperature preference may be meant to make partners take some distance from each other and the phenomenon can also be linked to sociological situation notices in various animals and even in humans, women tend to have much more physical contact between themselves than males.

Researchers have assumed that the difference in heat-sensing mechanisms between male and female would have been developed over the course of evolution.

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