Woman holding thermometer
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images


Do the men want us to freeze?

Cold women are being forced to turn up the thermostat behind their partner’s backs, as a report says one in three couples argue about the temperature of their home

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By Emily Baker on

Long gone are the summer days in the park and balmy nights of rooftop bars. It’s October now – temperatures are dropping below double figures, and the shops are full of new season coats. Soon it will be November, then December – you get it, it’s cold now.

Luckily, this is the 21st century and some of us are fortunate enough to have central heating in our homes. What a magical system. It could be minus 7 degrees and snowing outside, but with just a flick of the switch, all of a sudden (well, within the hour) it’s Club Tropicana in your living room. Unless you live with a man.

A new study has found that men consistently set the thermostat temperature too low, and four in ten women are forced to turn it up behind their backs, lest they fall into a life-threatening state of hypothermia. It also found that one in three couples regularly argue about the temperature of their home, meaning women are spending precious energy shouting about how cold they are, which would be better spent on heat-conserving activities such as shivering.

Four in ten women are forced to turn the thermostat up behind their partner's backs, lest they fall into a life-threatening state of hypothermia

The official line on the temperature gender gap is that it comes down to metabolism. Men have a typically faster metabolic rate than women, meaning they are more comfortable in a colder environment. We’ve heard this before in the air-conditioning-at-work furore last year – units are designed with men’s temperature preferences in mind, so women are too cold to become CEOs, apparently.

According to the research, the average house is heated to 20 degrees. That’s 4.5 degrees colder than recommended for the oddly-specific example of a woman wearing tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt, sitting down with a laptop. In the Battle of the Thermostat, we cannot stand for this any longer. We must demand our 4.5 degrees.

Stay vigilant fellow warriors – winter is coming.


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