A new Australian research has revealed that women who fall sick appear to complain much more than men suffering a similar condition.
'Man flu' is a term often used in a slightly derogatory manner to explain the condition shared by males who, when suffering a mild cold, present their illness as a life-threatening disease more deadly than bubonic plague.
It is generally believed that sufferers of man flu are exaggerating their symptoms to extract maximum sympathy from a few sniffles and force their partners to run after them with tissues, hot water bottles and painkillers.
However, now the poll published yesterday found that most women admitted exaggerating symptoms to gain attention or to get a day off work.
Men, however, were revealed as more stoic and less likely to create a fuss or demand attention when ill, reports the Couriermail.
According to Gladeana McMahon, a consultant psychotherapist, and Fellow of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, women could be using illness as 'pay-back time' for attention denied them in everyday life.
She said: "Women tend to talk more about their feelings generally, but men it seems, appear to vocalize more when they're sick - that's where the myth around man flu originated. So it's surprising that these results show women to be the biggest complainers when it comes to colds and flu.
"Maybe it is more a case of needing more recognition for what they do and, if they can't get that on a day-to-day basis, then looking for a bit of sympathy when they're sick is a way of making up for this."
As per the British poll of 2300 adults, 91 per cent of women claim to feel "bad or very bad" when they have a cold, compared with only two thirds of men.
Infact, women go further by confessing to feeling over-emotional and weak when they have a cold.
When it comes to recovery time, women were also found to take significantly longer to return to full health. Fourteen per cent of men said they were usually back to normal in a day or two.
A quarter of female respondents said it could take them eight to 10 days to get back on their feet.