A new survey supports the myth that men complain more about aches and pains than women.
The research show that while women are more likely to complain about minor ailments on a daily basis, men feel the most sorry for themselves when they are actually ill.
And while men are less likely to suffer from real illnesses – five bouts a year compared to seven for women - when they do get poorly, they tend to seek maximum amounts of sympathy.
The Engage Mutual survey of 3,000 people shows nearly half of all men exaggerate their symptoms of illness – a common cold becomes flu and a headache turns into a full blown migraine.
According to their partners, more than 57 per cent of men become attention seeking when ill, with 65 per cent constantly moaning and groaning.
When it comes to taking time off, men are the real martyrs, with 76 per cent choosing to take their symptoms to work, rather than recover at home.
Karl Elliott, Marketing Director at Engage Mutual said:
"Men have had a bad press concerning their tendencies towards 'man flu', but our findings support the belief that men do moan more and are more likely to exaggerate their symptoms."
"They may have fewer bouts of genuine sickness a year, five compared to the seven suffered by women, but when ill, their attention seeking behaviour makes sure their partner knows about it."
"But even though men look for maximum sympathy, they tend to struggle on, being less likely to take time off work for an illness."
"Minor ailments aside, it is important for men to recognise and act on any genuine health concerns."
"Whether taking professional advice, or seeking suitable remedies and treatments to aid recovery, it is important to address any issues in order to maintain good levels of health."
Despite 34 per cent of men’s partners rarely believing their claims to illness are genuine, 62 per cent can still be relied upon to serve up some sympathy.
Six in 10 find it awful to see their man poorly, and 49 per cent make the effort to wait on them hand and foot. Two thirds of partners whip out to the pharmacy to stock up on requested remedies whenever their man is ill; 46 per cent run them a bath; and 27 per cent provide breakfast in bed.
On the other side of the gender coin, the survey suggests women tend to be more vocal about their aches and pains on a daily basis.
According to their partners, 45 per cent of women have a low pain threshold, and 36 per cent frequently get ‘woman flu’.
But if they do become ill, women can rely on some serious tlc. Twenty nine per cent of their partners stated they had taken time off work to care for their woman when sick and 33 per cent say they would always buy flowers, dvds or magazines to cheer them up.
Women’s partners also scored higher on getting up in the night (32 per cent) and making them breakfast in bed (29 per cent) when they were ill.
Karl Elliott at Engage Mutual continued:
"Women score higher than men on being prepared to dole out the sympathy for an attention seeking partner, regardless of whether they believe they are genuinely ill, or not."
"But when it comes to doing the little things that make a partner more comfortable when they are ill, men and women seem to be more evenly matched."
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1Survey conducted for Engage Mutual by OnePoll in May 2010, surveying 3,000 people across Great Britain.
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Notes to editors:
- Engage Mutual Assurance is a trading name of Homeowners Friendly Society Ltd (HFSL), Registered and incorporated under the Friendly Societies Act 1992, Registered number 964F and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, engage Mutual Funds Limited (EMFL) and engage Mutual Insurance Ltd (EMIL). Both HFSL and EMFL are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). HFSL’s Register number is 110072, EMFL’s Register number is 181487. EMIL is authorised to conduct general insurance business by the Financial Services Commission Gibraltar and is regulated by the Financial Services Authority for the conduct of UK business. EMIL’s FSA Register No is 485680. You can check this on the FSA’s Register by visiting the FSA website www.fsa.gov.uk or by contacting the FSA on 0845 606 1234.
- Engage Mutual is one of the larger UK mutuals providing simple, value for money savings, protection and investment products. It currently helps over 438,000 customers of all ages to protect, preserve or enhance their welfare, with some of the most straightforward products on the market. Engage Mutual prides itself on being a family-oriented, modern mutual, providing products that help enable households of all kinds to plan their finances to help meet their future needs. More information on Engage Mutual is available at www.engagemutual.com
- Engage Mutual supports mutuality through links with the Association of Financial Mutuals and Mutuo.
- Engage Mutual Funds Limited (EMFL) is a provider of the Child Trust Fund direct and in partnership with organisations including Yorkshire Building Society.
- Engage Mutual has been the title sponsor of the Rugby Super League since 2005 and has extended its agreement to 2010.
- Engage Mutual announced its entry into the health cash plan market in July 2008 following an agreement of partnership with Wakefield & District Hospital’s Contributory Scheme (WDHCS). Further to this, 30,000 health cash plan customers transferred from Premier Health Benefits (part of WDHCS) to Engage Mutual Insurance Limited.
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