Science & Tech

Here's why we need to ban the term 'man flu'

Sweet toddler copies pregnant mum suffering from morning sickness

It’s a common phrase which everyone will be familiar with, but we really need to stop using the term ‘man flu’.

New research has been released which suggests the concept could be doing women a big injustice.

Scientists have studied the effects of the flu on more than 100 subjects, both male and female, and found that the severity of symptoms such as headaches and runny noses were basically the same.

Significantly, though, on average men’s flu symptoms were milder than women’s.

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The research comes from Austria’s Medical University of Innsbruck, which was published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

“‘Man flu’ is a popular term to describe hypersensitivity to acute rhinosinusitis (ARS) in men,” the study stated.

“While this pop-cultural description may influence the social perspective of ARS, so far, no prospective observational data on the gender-specific natural development of ARS is available.

“Although a certain gender difference was found both in the clinician as well as patient-rated ARS symptoms, the hypothesis of a ‘man flu’ should be disregarded.

“Gender differences in ARS symptomatology should be carefully evaluated without stigmatising symptom distress based on gender perceptions.”

So, if anything, maybe it should have been called ‘woman flu’ all this time?

It comes after author Dr Kyle Sue said back in 2017 that the term “man flu” is potentially problematic.

“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,” he explained.

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