Men may not really be from Mars, but why do they seem to feel the heat so much more than women? A study by two dutch scientists this week analysed why men feel the need to turn the air con down, while women are often battling to get the heating back on.

In general they found that women were comfortable at around 2.5 degrees warmer than men, BBC journalist Chris Stokel-Walker investigated further. It appears that men tend to have a higher resting metabolic rates than women, which means the energy used keeps them slightly warmer.

Biology applicants may wish to explore what drives this rate and understand the differences between ‘brown fats’ and ‘white fats’. Whilst Human Sciences or Medicine applicants could look at how this difference in genders could affect treatments or indeed ways of coping with different heats and even Architecture applicants could begin to think about how they could design a building or space that could accommodate all the different temperatures that office workers may require in order to be most productive.

It can be noted, however, that both the study and the investigations of Warwick University found that this is not universally true of the genders, and the resting metabolic rates of adults can vary well outside of just ‘men’ and ‘women’. HSPS applicants may wish to think about how we categorise men and women with habits or stereotypes in the 21st century. 

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