Are men or women more sympathetic when the other is sick?

On the radio this morning they had a very interesting discussion question, “which gender is more sympathetic when the other one is sick?” This question found me at a great time because my boyfriend is just starting to get sick and the discussion about how differently men act when they are sick as opposed to women came up.

Now the radio said the survey proved that men are more sympathetic when the other is sick. At first I really did not agree with this. My reasoning was simple. Women tend to be the caretakers. So women tend to be the ones who make their partner soup, make sure they are taking medicine, make sure they are getting rest. While men have good intentions I have no experienced many men who are inclined this way. While my current boyfriend definitely takes care of me, it is not a gender thing but rather a fact that he is a good guy.

He gets a gold star for being awesome!

The more I listened though the more I agreed.

Here is where my first thoughts were wrong. Women are in fact the caretakers but that was never the question. The question was about sympathy. If you take a pole of ten women in the room it is almost guaranteed most women will say men are babies when they are sick (including me). That does not scream sympathy. If anything that is the opposite.

But men don’t generally feel this way about women. Of course the reason could be that many women (including myself) continue on with their daily lives even while sick. Many of us don’t slow down. We are women hear us roar! So men may have more sympathy because they understand how they feel when sick and women don’t show it as much.

Of course these are generalizations and many women and men might fall in the other side of things here which is why I find is such a fascinating discussion questions.

So I turn to you bloggers. Which gender do you feel is more sympathetic when the other is sick and why?


12 thoughts on “Are men or women more sympathetic when the other is sick?

  1. Men, hands down.

    In the past, whenever my girlfriends were sick, I would drop everything I was doing, run to the store, and pick up ginger ale or Sprite; orange juice; hot tea; ice cream; cough lozenges; medicine; etc. I would hand deliver those items and then get my butt in the kitchen to make a pot of chicken noodle soup. I have also been known to give them sympathy get-well cards with sweet handwritten messages inside. I never got the same in return. Granted, I very rarely get sick to begin with, but still.

  2. I freely admit that I’m not a sympathetic person and it cracks me up that neither is my oldest daughter and she’s an RN! I don’t really know if it’s a gender thing or just the particular person. I told my kids to ‘suck it up’ and made them go to school unless they were throwing up! I was a mean mom.

  3. Oh, I have to say that women take first prize on this one. My mother always took great care of me and now my sister and auntie are always checking up on me or strenuously making suggestions about how I should take care of myself.

    Hope your boyfriend feels better, Shae!

  4. Well, I can only speak for myself. I’m very sympathetic when someone is sick (be it a partner, family member, or friend). I don’t like to see anyone in pain or ill, so my heart goes out to them. I also think I was born a natural-caretaker.

    You’re right, though, many women seem to be much tougher when it comes to allowing an illness to slow them down. I’ve always said that I think women are stronger than most men – both emotionally AND physically.

    Once again, my friend, FAB post topic!

  5. I think women are more sympathetic. And we push through. My man is there to carry us through different situations and he’s great at that role. We carry each other through differently so there is balance!

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