The gender battle over A/C control has been raging for decades, and it will likely continue as long as men and women share spaces. For the most part, men feel cozy at temperatures that make women's teeth chatter. In a futile counterplay, women reset temperatures to their comfort and the men’s consternation. Scientific research indicates these disagreements over the thermostat aren't just stubbornness -- they have a strong biological basis. It’s not all in our heads, although the brain plays a huge role in how hot or cold people feel. Various factors drive gender differences in body temperature.
The human body has an intricate mechanism for regulating temperature. It constantly works to maintain a core temperature between 98 °F and 100 °F when the environmental temperature is between 68 °F and 130 °F. When the skin temperature falls below 98.6 °F, the body responds in several ways to conserve heat and increase heat production. Blood vessels contract to reduce the flow of heat to the skin’s surface. Shivering boosts heat production in muscle tissue. The hypothalamus, a small area of the brain, directs the secretion of the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and thyroxine to increase heat production.
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