AN EXPERT has explained why women are always colder than men.
It’s a question that many scientists have tried to answer – why do women want a higher setting on the thermostat?
But it turns out the reasons are pretty simple – and may even explain the phrase “cold hands, warm heart”.
Women tend to have less muscle than men, even if they are the same body weight.
Muscle generates more heat than body fat and also contributes to a high metabolism.
Both of these factors can contribute to warmth, Professor Christian Moro and PhD Student Charlotte Phelps, both of Bond University, explained in a piece for the Conversation.
They also revealed that the hormonal differences between men and women contribute to different body temperatures.
“The hormones oestrogen and progesterone, found in large quantities in women, contribute to the core body and skin temperatures.
“Oestrogen dilates blood vessels at the extremities. This means more heat can be lost to the surrounding air.
“And progesterone can cause the vessels in the skin to constrict, meaning less blood will flow to some areas to keep the internal organs warmer, leaving women feeling cooler.
“This hormone balance changes throughout the month alongside the menstrual cycle.”
In fact, the hormones pumping around a woman’s body make their hands, feet and ears constantly around three degrees C colder than men’s.
“Although the hands and feet are cooler, women do have warmer average core temperatures than men,” the experts wrote.
“This is likely the source of the saying ‘cold hands, warm heart’.”
The experts also explained that women may prefer to relax in warmer climates as an evolutionary tool.
Female mammals prefer to be under the sun to encourage them to rest with their offspring, it’s been found, which may translate to humans, too.
Researchers in Israel believe that these preferences keep the sexes separate and stop couples clashing.
They found the same trait is present in many species of birds and mammals.
Dr Eran Levin, of Tel Aviv University, said: “Men and women feel temperature differently. This difference in thermal sensation did not come about so that we could argue with our partners over the air conditioning, but rather the opposite.
“From an evolutionary point of view, it is meant to make a couple take some distance from each other so that each individual can enjoy some peace and quiet.
“Our study has shown that the phenomenon is not unique to humans – among many species of birds and mammals, females prefer a warmer environment than males, and at certain times these preferences cause segregation between the two sexes.”
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