If you were on the Internet in August, you probably saw the headlines.
From the New York Times: “Chilly at Work? Office Formula Was Devised for Men.”
From CNBC: “Is your office too cold? Blame men.”
From San Diego’s KGTV: “Sexist thermostats: Science proves why women freeze at work.”
All of this coverage springs from a study published Aug. 3 in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study found that women have slightly lower resting metabolic rates than men, further arguing that current standards for designing office air conditioning systems are flawed, since they’re based on men’s metabolic rates and fail to factor in that metabolic difference.
While the narrative of “sexist” building standards conspiring to freeze women is undeniably compelling, I think it’s also extremely simplistic and misleading.