Man flu – just bad press?

Posted in: Wellbeing Last updated: 29 Jun 2012

It’s a long debated issue, but recent research [1] which questioned men and women about the behaviour of their partners, would seem to support the man flu myth.

While men are less likely to suffer from illnesses, five bouts a year compared to seven for women, it appears that when they do become poorly, men demand maximum amounts of sympathy from their nearest and dearest.

More than half of men suffer from man flu; 49 per cent exaggerate their symptoms, and 57 per cent become more attention seeking, say their partners.

Although more than a third of men’s partners disbelieve their claims to illness, 62 per cent of them can still be relied upon to serve up some sympathy.  When ill, the majority of men can expect to have all their meals made and their remedies fetched from the pharmacy.

But even though they may look for plenty of sympathy at home, when it comes to work commitments, men tend to struggle on, being less likely to take time off as a result of illness.

But what about ‘woman flu’?

Women tend to be slightly more vocal about aches and pains on a daily basis and, according to their partners, 36% of them suffer from ‘woman flu’.

But if they do become ill, over half of women can expect to be waited on hand and foot by a concerned partner.

Twenty nine per cent of their partners stated they had taken time off work to care for them when sick, and 33 per cent always buy flowers, dvds or magazines to cheer them up.

Gender loving care

Women score higher than men on being prepared to dole out sympathy for genuine illness, but when it comes to doing the little things to make an ill partner feel more comfortable, men and women are more evenly matched.

Almost half of all men and women questioned said they would always run a bath for their ill loved one.  And making breakfast in bed for a suffering partner is a must for similar numbers of men and women.

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1 Engage Mutual (May, 2010) Conducted for by OnePoll surveying 3,000 people across Great Britain.