We finally have an answer to the age-old question: Why do men act like babies when they’re sick?

Ladies, we know that you secretly roll your eyes when you husband catches the “man flu,” where all of a sudden he seems to think he is on his deathbed a week after you had to keep doing the laundry and making dinner when you had the same flu.

But it turns out that men actually do suffer more from the flu than women. New research published in the American Journal of Physiology — Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology points to hormones as the reason that viruses are worse for one sex than the other.

A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins ran some tests on nasal cells and found that cells treated with estrogen are more resistant to influenza A. How about that? The hormone that helps women in reproduction to produce kids also helps them stay healthier so they can take care of them.

Researchers say the student points to some potential for using estrogen to protect against the flu.

The findings may not help men much. But don’t worry, your wife will be well enough to take care of you.

Author placeholder image About the author:
Lilee Williams is a freelance journalist and scientific study junkie based in Georgia. Email her at
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