August! And as the temperature spikes outside, things are also heating up indoors, Steve Hendrix reports for the Washington Post. It's man vs. woman in the "thermostat wars." Hendrix actually spoke to an expert:
"This is a real phenomenon," said Kathryn Sandberg, director of the Georgetown University Center for the Study of Sex Differences in Health, Aging and Disease. "We have lots of data showing that women generally are far more sensitive to feelings of cold."
Wait, women are sensitive? Or men are insensitive? Well, apparently studies show that women are more susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia. And Sandberg conducted a test in which male and female volunteers held their hands in ice water as long as possible and found that women were typically quicker to call it quits. But maybe women are just less interested in pain?
The truth is, anecdotal evidence supports Sandberg's research. Couples interviewed for the article fit the mold: The husbands are always trying to lower the temperature, and the ladies are always freezing. My sister always wears — or carries — a sweater, even if she's in the California desert in July; if it's not over 80°, she's not warm enough. There were thermostat fights in almost every office I've ever worked in, with most of the women in the office complaining of it being "freezing," except for the one lady going through menopause.
It is bothersome to think of women as being more "sensitive" to cold and therefore somehow (sigh) weak or frail. But. If the research is there, then don't make the a/c temp so low. We're cold. Thanks.