‘Man Flu’ Is A Myth: Men Are Stronger Than We Think

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Yet another battle of the sexes has come to an end. Recent medical studies suggest that women are actually more pathetic than men when ill.

It’s a stereotype that has been propagated since at least the 50s, and in fact, in that time, the “man flu” was a running joke. Most every television sitcom at the time had at least one episode revolving around a pathetic bedridden husband with a cold who had to be waited on hand and foot by his derisive wife because he had “the plague” and wouldn’t stop complaining.

However, researchers now say that this mockery was misguided. Of a study of 5000 people conducted by Dr. Alma Adler, men tended to be more stoic when ill, and actually worked more than their sick female counterparts. Men took a grand average of 2.8 days off from work to recuperate, while women, on average, took 3.

New South Wales physician Dr. Craig Dalton defended women and said that possibly the men studied had a less severe illness and didn’t need as much recovery time. However, a recent study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine stated that women also complain more when sick.

There is no evidence we know of to show that the flu virus affects women in a different way to men to give them worse symptoms and make them suffer more,” Adler said.

The “Flusurvey,” still ongoing, asks participants to report any unusual health symptoms and rate their overall health on a score from 0 to 100. Men who had a flu-like cough and fever rated their health at 60 points, while women rated theirs at 50. (Healthy everyday average was 90 points, and 75 points for those with the common cold.)

So, men are stronger than we think they are and women are miserable when sick. I think the conclusion to be had here is, the flu is the flu, and it’s hellish regardless of gender.