There's a Term for Guys Exaggerating Illness, and It's 'Man Flu'


Sure, Dad seems like the toughest guy in the world when you're a kid. He can mow the lawn and chop wood and and swear at furniture he's trying to assemble. And then one day he gets a cold, and Mom starts talking about how big of a wuss dad is about being sick. But is that just an isolated thing?

Well, a new study published in the American Journal of Psychology suggests men may have trouble fighting the flu because of their lack of estrogen. Score one for the ladies. Researchers took nasal cells from females and males, exposed them to estrogen as well as compounds that act like natural estrogen, and then infected them with influenza. Female nasal cells showed a stronger resistance to the virus than male nasal cells, and researchers citied "A reduced flu virus replication" in females. In addition, study author Sabra Klein added in a press release that  "Other studies have shown that estrogens have antiviral properties against HIV, Ebola and hepatitis viruses."

This means that therapeutic estrogens, like the estrogen given to women during menopause, might eventually be used to fight the flu. But, according to the world of social media, these study results mean that, MEN WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG and totally get hardcore "Man Flu" and should be pitied as they moan in their underwear, hiding under a blanket.

Take the findings as you will. Sorry, Dad.

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Kara King is a News Writer at Thrillist and is skeptical. Send news tips to and follow her at @karatillie.