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    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2017
     
    It seems that way more single men living in energy poverty seem to completely switch off their heating in order to save money and just live in very cold homes compared to the numbers of single women in similar circumstances.

    Any explanations or views? Source -- WinterWatch worker in my town.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2017
     
    My partner certainly feels the cold more than I, and from my experience I think its generally the case.
    What's strange is, women, (not all), have a greater percentage of body fat than men, and that is usually thought of as an insulator. It may be something to do with blood vessel distribution in males v females. Or men prepared to rough it, by just adding more clothes, and prioritising elsewhere.
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2017 edited
     
    Funny you should mention this, as a similar topic of conversation came up at lunch just now

    Once upon a time there was a site called The Spark, that had a bunch of personality type tests on; it was good fun and authored by a couple of psychology graduates so there was some science behind the constant poking fun at Canadian people

    One of them was the Gender test; a test that could guess which gender (in a pre-"my pronouns are they/them/their" world) the taker belonged to. Some questions were fairly obvious - "do you prefer white bedrooms or blue bedrooms?", some less so - "take a look at these sequence of coloured shapes and pick the odd one out (sequence of red triangle, orange circle, yellow square, green circle, blue square, pink circle" [men pick the triangle as the odd shape, women pick the pink shape as not-in-rainbow-order/not-a-rainbow-colour)

    One of the questions was "Would you rather be cold, or hungry?"

    I did my own research on this, post results. Overwhelmingly women told me "hungry; I can cope with being hungry, but I can't stand being cold" sometimes also volunteering "plus, if I'm hungry maybe I'm getting thinner" whereas guys told me "I can take the cold if I've got a full stomach"
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2017 edited
     
    I'm not convinced that fat is an insulator; overweight people have a higher surface area to volume ratio so should cool down more slowly, but I'm not motivated to think that fat has a superb insulator value.

    I think it's more likely that through a combination of survival-of-the-fittest, and traditional gender roles, men have adapted to a role where they were outside more (think hunting/gathering vs tending the fire by the cave mouth) had more active tasks/higher metabolic rates, and are generally more hairy/have larger hairs thus can establish a thicker envelope of immobilised air around their skin. Women as a generally more traditionally inactive/lower metabolic rate and a smaller mass are essentially burning a smaller internal fire heating a larger surface air ratio. If you get a woman who is exhibiting a period of intense activity, running in the snow, doing hard work/gym etc they are as unlikely to complain about the cold as men. IMHO 350,000 years of hunter gathering still has intrinsic effects..
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2017
     
    Posted By: cjardI'm not convinced that fat is an insulator

    Err, think seals, whales, polar bears etc.

    FWIW, I'm the counter example. My wife will put up with the cold to a greater extent than me. Though I'm happy to be out in the cold as long as I've got the right clothes on.
  1.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: djh</cite><blockquote><cite>Posted By: cjard</cite>I'm not convinced that fat is an insulator</blockquote>
    Err, think seals, whales, polar bears etc.
    </blockquote>

    I was thinking the same thing but for opposite reasons. Fat layer helps you in cold water (whales,seals)
    Bears have fur which is slightly different.

    Fat layer is not necessarily a good way to keep warm and possibly hinders blood supply etc. I think men are generally physically hardier and are wiling to put up with more discomfort and it might well be testosterone which is largely responsible.
  2.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: cjard</cite>
    I did my own research on this, post results. Overwhelmingly women told me "hungry; I can cope with being hungry, but I can't stand being cold" sometimes also volunteering "plus, if I'm hungry maybe I'm getting thinner" whereas guys told me "I can take the cold if I've got a full stomach"</blockquote>

    This is really interesting, and you make some great points. Im def in the prefer cold to hunger group. Full stomach of hot porridge and a cup of coffee and I can do anything.
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2017
     
    There's been quite a lot of research work done on this; broadly speaking the sexes do feel and perceive comfort in different ways.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2017
     
    Posted By: bot de pailleBears have fur which is slightly different.


    "Polar bears eat a very high fat diet and have adaptations to allow them to process this food (physiological) - *This is possibly the key adaptation that polar bears have*"

    "Thick layer of body fat / blubber (anatomical / physiological) - This can be up 10cm (4 inches) thick, it is used both for insulation and also for food storage to help survive when food supply may be intermittent especially in the summer months when bears often go hungry for long periods due to not being able to hunt their preferred food of seals. Up to 50% of a polar bears weight can be fat!"

    https://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/wildlife/Arctic_animals/polar-bear.php
    • CommentAuthorCharli
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2017
     
    Having done some research on this in response to my Other Half telling me to Put More Jumpers On (I'm already wearing 3, why can't we put the heating on).

    Oestrogen contributes to feeling the cold, controls blood vessel dilation to some extent.

    Men tend to have more muscle (which generates heat), whereas women tend to have more fat- keeping their core body warm but their extremities colder.
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: bot de pailleI think men are generally physically hardier and are wiling to put up with more discomfort and it might well be testosterone which is largely responsible.


    Never share this opinion with women who have borne children, will you?
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2017
     
    Posted By: CharliHaving done some research on this in response to my Other Half telling me to Put More Jumpers On (I'm already wearing 3, why can't we put the heating on).

    Oestrogen contributes to feeling the cold, controls blood vessel dilation to some extent.

    Men tend to have more muscle (which generates heat), whereas women tend to have more fat- keeping their core body warm but their extremities colder.


    You can; I'm sure your input to the relationship is significant, so if you want the heating on, insist!

    Classically, many of my female friends have worn several layers though not necessarily the best insulators. They've also worn gloves (for example) that were probably too small - as I found to my detriment one snowy winters day, snowball fight time and the only gloves I could find were a slightly snug pair of marigolds with a fuzzy lining. By the third ball I couldn't move my fingers, I ditched the gloves and all was fine after that; it's amazing how just a slight pressure can reduce the circulation, cutting off the vital circulation of warmth in terms of blood flow

    You make a good point about internal heat generation; I touched on it in terms of metabolism, but I dare say it's quite evolutionarily advantageous to have the baby ovens arranged so they're warm at the core.

    On the point of fats being an insulator I don't think it's necessarily the case that animal fat has a much lower lambda than muscle etc, and certainly we use it to facilitate heat transfer from a pan to a cooking item of food, but when one considers all the things a seal needs to store inside its skin, fat is a dense energy store that has few other purposes beyond cushioning some tissues. It's not a good design to arrange the useless fat to be at the core and the muscles around the perimeter, because the muscle has a heat generation role and putting it nearer to the environment that saps it of heat is unwise when the fat could go there, increasing the volume:surface area ratio and distancing the heat generators from the heat drains. Fur is an insulant and, you'll note, employed by seal pups (lower volume:SA, lower body fat content) though not by the adults.

    I don't know if adding more jumpers will necessarily help; it might not be that part of the body that is reporting "I'm cold" - I've a coworker who is always cold (Turkish) though I work in shorts, Tagore and sandals, maybe trainers if it's single digit temps and I'll be outside for long. She came in in 4 jumpers and a dressing gown, no avail- shivered all day. I got her some thick, loose fitting socks and some ugg boots, complaints stopped. It's not a warm floor, being beam and block above a car park, but improving the insulative value of her footwear improved things no end. Physical activity would too, but there is limited scope in an office job

    so, would you rather be cold or hungry? :)
  3.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: djh</cite><blockquote><cite>Posted By: bot de paille</cite>Bears have fur which is slightly different.</blockquote>

    "Polar bears eat a very high fat diet and have adaptations to allow them to process this food (physiological) - *This is possibly the key adaptation that polar bears have*"

    "Thick layer of body fat / blubber (anatomical / physiological) - This can be up 10cm (4 inches) thick, it is used both for insulation and also for food storage to help survive when food supply may be intermittent especially in the summer months when bears often go hungry for long periods due to not being able to hunt their preferred food of seals. Up to 50% of a polar bears weight can be fat!"

    https://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/wildlife/Arctic_animals/polar-bear.php</blockquote>

    Yes, but fat is used to store energy for later while hibernating and for insulation while they swim in cold arctic waters! Humans didn't evolve to swim in cold arctic waters.
  4.  
    <blockquote><cite>Posted By: cjard</cite><blockquote><cite>Posted By: bot de paille</cite>I think men are generally physically hardier and are wiling to put up with more discomfort and it might well be testosterone which is largely responsible.</blockquote>

    Never share this opinion with women who have borne children, will you?</blockquote>

    Women will choose almost exclusively to have an epidural And Pain during labour is not a choice that women make.

    Many men I know including myself will seek out discomfort/pain when taking part in various activities. Pushing themselves to the limits and beyond as way to test themselves both mentally and physically.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2017
     
    bot de paille alleged: "Yes, but fat is used to store energy for later while hibernating and for insulation while they swim in cold arctic waters! Humans didn't evolve to swim in cold arctic waters."

    Indeed it is useful to be able to recycle your insulation if it becomes necessary. That doesn't reduce the insulative value of fat though:

    https://www.itis.ethz.ch/virtual-population/tissue-properties/database/thermal-conductivity/

    Fat is about twice as good an insulator as muscle or other tissues. Oh and polar bears don't hibernate. Neither do seals or whales.

    There's no point in storing fat to eat later if you're going to die of cold first.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2017
     
    Does it not make a difference how close the vain/capillary system is to the epidermis rather than the amount of fat.

    My neighbour is like me, does not use the heating (though I have it on now as house was damp after a few weeks way in Canada), she is out of the house a lot and works odd shifts.
    She hates the cold and is from a warmer country than the UK.
    When it is really cold, like today, and she is in the house all day, she does use a fan heater for single room heating, juts like I do.
    She uses less energy than me, and about 2/3rd of the amount of water that I use.
    So on this sample of 2, the above is bollocks :wink:
    • CommentAuthorgyrogear
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2017
     
    Posted By: SteamyTeaDoes it not make a difference how close the vain/capillary system is to the epidermis


    I think not - I tried testing my arteries, but it was all in vein...

    gg
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2017
     
    :bigsmile:
  5.  
    https://www.itis.ethz.ch/virtual-population/tissue-properties/database/thermal-conductivity/" rel="nofollow" >https://www.itis.ethz.ch/virtual-population/tissue-properties/database/thermal-conductivity/

    Oh and polar bears don't hibernate. Neither do seals or whales.


    https://seaworld.org/animal-info/animal-infobooks/polar-bears/behavior

    "Only females, especially pregnant females, enter into a state of carnivore lethargy, or "hibernation". They do so from about October or November through March or April.
    The female polar bear's heart rate slows to about 27 beats per minute from a normal resting heart rate of about 46 beats per minute.
    When hibernating, a female's body temperature may drop slightly, perhaps to 35°C (95°F), or it may remain normal at 37°C (98.6°F).
    Females fast throughout hibernation. They may lose most or all of their fat stores.
    Unlike most other hibernators, female polar bears give birth while hibernating. High body temperature is needed to meet the demands of pregnancy, birth, and nursing.
    Though hibernating females sleep soundly, they're easily and quickly aroused.
    Researchers have found that non-
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2017
     
    I wonder why you omitted the bit of text just before your quote:

    "Polar bears aren't deep hibernators, but enter a state of carnivore lethargy. Their body temperatures do not drop substantially, and other body functions continue. Scientists, however, use the term "hibernation" in a general sense when referring to carnivore lethargy and the term is used in this booklet as well."

    I suspect that scientists who care about hibernation don't use the word in a general sense when referring to a species that doesn't enter torpor. Note that hibernating animals regularly come out of hibernation during winter in order to sleep, for example. So the notion of sleeping whilst 'hibernating' is nonsense. I think your article is for the general population and has oversimplified things too much.

    See for example:

    http://www.open.edu/openlearn/nature-environment/natural-history/animals-the-extremes-hibernation-and-torpor/content-section-1

    https://www.une.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/32627/KoertnerGeiserChronbiol2000.pdf
  6.  
    This inane one upmanship is why the number of people commenting on this forum remains a small clique

    Goodbye
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2017
     
    Oh really.
    I would have thought it was right up your street at a climate change denier.:wink:
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: cjardmen ... had more active tasks/higher metabolic rates ... Women as a generally more traditionally inactive ... IMHO 350,000 years of hunter gathering still has intrinsic effects.
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/nov/29/prehistoric-womens-arms-stronger-than-those-of-todays-elite-rowers

    "Prehistoric women had stronger arms than elite female rowing teams do today thanks to the daily grind of farming life, researchers have revealed, shedding light on their role in early communities.

    The study of ancient bones suggests that manual agricultural work had a profound effect on the bodies of women living in central Europe between about the early neolithic and late iron age, from about 5,300BC to AD100."

    But then what's 5,000yrs hard labour compared to 193,000yrs in the Garden of Eden?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSteamyTea
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2017
     
    Rowing involves a lot of leg work too. Did they compare legs.
  7.  
    ''climate change denier.''

    Is that a measure of the thickness of stockings? And if, so, will it get thinner or thicker?
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