The “Man Flu” is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “A cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms.”
This medical phenomenon is a result of higher levels of testosterone in the blood, leading to weaker immune systems in men compared to women. The findings indicate that men are more likely to experience severe flu symptoms as “The higher the testosterone it seems like the weaker the immune response. There were higher viral levels, there were fewer immune mediators that were found in the blood whereas the higher the estrogen, the stronger the response,” Dr. Sue says.
While the research is limited and not perfect, Dr. Sue believes that his study, “The Science behind “Man flu”” is a scientific effort, using mice as subjects, to show that “men are not wimps.”
The research examined was various controlled variables where, “men smoke more, they drink more, their less likely to seek help from the doctor so to bat the reason why their more likely to be hospitalized and more likely to die from it.”
Although, this study has recently been under fire for being considered misogynistic, with many critics coming forward disputing the evidence found. While Dr. Sue says that his research was written in a joking manner, the information is very real and is something to take serious.
In response to his critics, Dr. Sue says that the common saying “man-up” is in fact counterproductive, “because if the immune system is actually weaker in men then in fact they should woman-up.”
He reassures that the term “Man Flu” is not something to be embarrassed about as it is how he came up with the idea to research this topic. He admits that on the off chance he gets sick, it becomes debilitating to the point where he considers his symptoms the “Man Flu.”