A surgeon is giving a possible explanation on TikTok to a topic (or argument) that partnered men and women are sure to be familiar with.
Dr. Karan Rajan, a surgeon at the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, says a “few scientific reasons” can explain why women might indeed be colder than men. His explanation was a response to a video posted on social media earlier this week of a man lamenting he could not shower with his wife because she prefers the water practically “boiling.”
“Women have a fractionally higher core body temperature than men, and it seems like it might keep some women warmer, but alas, if someone is used to being warm, somewhere cold can feel even colder,” Rajan reasoned for the different preferences in water temperature.
Rajan said the sensitivity to cold could be amplified even more if the woman is taking hormonal birth control.
He added that women may also have colder extremities than men.
“The hands, the feet, the earlobes might be sitting up to three degrees lower than in men,” Rajan continued. “This may be partly due to estrogen which thickens the blood, reduces blood flow to the capillaries which supplies the extremities.”
The doctor noted that ovulation might be the time when the cold sensitivity is at its peak due to high estrogen levels and said, on average, women have a lower metabolic rate than men, which means women produce less heat.
Karan has been referred to as TikTok’s “own resident surgeon” and posts frequently about health conditions and medical facts.
Previous research on how men and women respond to temperature differences supports Rajan’s explanation.
In a 2021 study, researchers at Tel Aviv University’s School of Zoology cited evolution as the reason women feel colder more often than men.
“We propose that males and females feel temperature differently. This is a built-in evolutionary difference between the heat-sensing systems of the two sexes, which is related, among other things, to the reproduction process and caring for offspring,” researchers said .
In fact, they went on to say the phenomenon even exists outside of the human species and has been picked up in birds and bats.
And an earlier study published in 2019 showed women were more productive in warmer environments. The study came out pre-pandemic when going into the office was still the norm for a vast majority of workers.
More than 500 college students were asked to take three different tests – math, verbal and cognitive reflection – while the room was set to temperatures between 61 and 91 degrees Fahrenheit at various times. Although the test scores seemed relatively normal as a group, researchers found that there were differences between the male and female students when it came to answering questions.
The women’s math and verbal test scores suffered when the room was set below 70 degrees. Women’s math scores, however, began increasing by 1.7% as the room got warmer.
“If temperatures are cold, men are much better than women. So there is this gender gap,” Agne Kajackaite, a behavioral economics researcher at WZB Berlin Social Science Center in Germany and co-author of the study, told The New York Times.
Kajackaite said the gender gap disappeared with each degree the room got warmer.
FOX Business contributed to this report