Whether you’ve taken care of your boyfriend, husband, father, or brother…pretty much every woman is familiar with just how insanely dramatic a lot of men are when they’re sick. Of course this is just a generalization, but in a lot of cases: women proceed with their day and all of their responsibilities when sick, and the world stops turning the second many men feel a sneeze coming on. I don’t write the rules, it’s just the way our society works. For most of our lives, those who have experienced real life examples of these stereotypes just accept the presumed fact that men are just wimpy when it comes to being sick–but that might not be the case after all.
A doctor in Canada decided to look into the actual science behind the man flu, seeing as nobody has ever actually done studies to see the severity of the symptoms. As stated in the article by Kyle Sue: “Man flu” is a term so ubiquitous that it has been included in the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries. Oxford defines it as “a cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms.” Sue conducted a study on male and female mice, and actually found evidence that the immune systems of the female mice were indeed stronger–helping to prove his point that he explained in an interview saying, “men are not wimps…Actually, we are suffering from something we have no control over … [We] should be given the benefit of the doubt rather than being criticized for not functioning well during the flu or the common cold.”
Sue came to the conclusion that, “The concept of man flu, as commonly defined, is potentially unjust. Men may not be exaggerating symptoms but have weaker immune responses to viral respiratory viruses, leading to greater morbidity and mortality than seen in women.”