Kyle Sue, an assistant professor of family medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland, was “tired of being accused of overreacting” to his flu symptoms, so he undertook a study to prove that so-called “man flu” is real, and everyone just needs to give guys a break, okay?
The “man flu,” as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is “a cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms.”
According to his research, published in the British Medical Journal on Monday, Sue found evidence to suggest that men do in fact have weaker immune systems than women, and are more susceptible to complications from respiratory illnesses.
Sue suggests this “immunity gap” could have something to do with the fact that the male hormone testosterone suppresses the immune system. He said he hopes his findings “could provide evidence for men around the world to defend themselves” from scurrilous charges of exaggeration.
Sue’s paper was published in the British Medical Journal’s Christmas issue, which publishes real, but light-hearted research and satire. Other experts have argued there is too little evidence to definitely prove whether “man flu” exists.
On the bright side, if the “man flu” is real, it could be another good reason for guys to stop hugging their colleagues.