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Featured Image Credit: PA
Anyone who has experienced the relationship bliss of co-habitation will know the joys of the needless argument. Who did the washing up, who should hang the clothes out, whose turn it is to take the rubbish to the bin... these are well-rehearsed scenarios. But if you're among those couples who constantly bicker about the heating in the house, then scientists think that there might be a little more to it than just grounds for a minor spat.
The good people at Corgi - the heating company, that is; nothing to do with miniature trains or royal dogs - have invested some of their hard-earned in a study, with results showing that a third of couples have argued about the heating. Furthermore, four out of ten women have surreptitiously turned up the thermostat without their partner's knowledge.
Corgi says that the average house is set at around 20 degrees Celsius - around 4.5 degrees lower than is recommended for a woman sitting around the house in normal clothes like trackies and a t-shirt. Ok, the scientific validity of a boiler maker's study into relationship behaviour might be open to further scrutiny, but there is actual evidence that women feel the cold more than men do.
Men and women have differing experiences of the cold because of their different metabolisms, which affect the way in which warming blood is spread around the body. Men's faster metabolisms mean that they tend to feel less cold, while the higher levels of oestrogen in women is shown by science to impede the body's internal heating. Oestrogen thickens the blood slightly, causing it to get to the extremities slower.
While men and women have the same basic internal temperature - 37 degrees Celsius, as anyone with a GCSE in biology knows - the heat that we perceive is that of our skin, and particularly of our skin at its extremities, such as our fingers and toes.
"It's a delicate domestic negotiation setting the perfect temperature and any changes planned should be carried out with a 'degree' of caution," guffawed Peter Southcott, chief executive of Corgi HomePlan, who commissioned the study.
His report certainly gives grounds for women to claim the upper hand in the battle for the thermostat, and look - real actual science backs that up as well.