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She's cold, he's hot; it's all about mass

Friday - 8/30/2013, 8:14am  ET

WASHINGTON - The stereotypical couple with a freezing wife and an overheated husband might not be just a coincidence.

The Wall Street Journal reports that it comes down to body mass.

Michael Sawka, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, says that because women generally have less muscle than men, giving them less mass, it's easier for them to feel chilled.

But it's not just a gender or body-mass issue.

WSJ reports that someone's hydration level, and where they grew up, can also be factors. People who don't go outside when its hot and move quickly from one air-conditioned location to another can quickly lose the ability to acclimate. Sawka says it can take up to two hours to get used to a warm temperature, but it's even harder for cold temperatures.

It can be difficult for couples to adjust so that everyone is happy, and compromises often have to be made. Some couples will drink either a hot or cold beverage, or purchase a car that offers temperature control for both the passenger's and driver's side.

WTOP's Rosemary Frisino Toohey contributed to this report.

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