The Corner

Common Colds

A strong majority of readers say it’s not ethnicity but gender which is the great dividing line. But within that majority opinions differ wildly. The two biggest camps are what I will call the Darwinians and the Freudians. The Darwinians believe that women of child-bearing age are more immune to the ravages of the common cold. The Freudians believe that boys are spoiled by their mothers when they’re sick and so men revert to boyhood when they get a cold. I think there might be merit to both theories. On the one hand, women really do seem to handle colds better than men and I find it hard to believe that men — who are normally so adverse to showing weakness to women — break down entirely for psychological reasons when they get colds. On the other hand, even if we do suffer more that doesn’t mean we don’t whine about it too much.


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