Sweating depends on body size, and not gender, which means that people who weigh more also sweat more, regardless of their gender. The research stating this examined people during cycle exercises in warm and tolerable conditions.
The study, published in the journal Experimental Physiology, was conducted by researchers from the University of Wollongong in Australia and Mie Prefectural College of Nursing in Japan.
Sweating Depends On Weight, Not Gender
There are two different ways through which the human body cools down: one is through sweating and the other one is through increased circulation on the surface of the skin. However, body shape has an important role when it comes which of these two ways of heat loss is employed.
According to the results of the paper, smaller individual, both females and males, who have more surface area per kilogram of body mass usually cool down through increasing circulation on the surface of the skin, using less sweating in this process. The research sheds new light on the way sweating is perceived, disproving the common belief that the gender of an individual is the one responsible for using sweating instead of increased circulation.
"Gender is sometimes thought to independently modulate cutaneous vasomotor and sudomotor function during heat exposure. Nevertheless, it was hypothesized that, when assessed during compensable exercise that evoked equal heat-loss requirements across participants, gender differences in those thermoeffectors would be explained by variations in the ratio between body surface area and mass (specific surface area)," noted the research paper.
In order to assess the mechanisms of heat loss, the researchers analyzed skin blood flow, as well as sweating, in 24 women and 36 men, who were subjected to tests. The individuals were asked to perform two tasks, consisting of light and moderate exercise, at a temperature of 28 degress Celsius (82.4 degrees Fahrenheit), at 36 percent humidity.
The levels of temperature and humidity used in the study are normal conditions under which the human body either sweats or increases blood flow to the skin, as a way to prevent rises in the body temperature. All subjects recorded the same changes in body temperature during both trials, regardless of gender.
"[...] Furthermore, after accounting for morphological differences, gender explained no more than 5% of that variability. It was concluded that, when assessed during compensable exercise, gender differences in thermoeffector function were largely morphologically determined, rather than being gender dependent," concluded the paper.
Sweating Differences, Previously Associated With Gender Differences
However, a previous study published in the same journal argued that men are better at sweating than women, especially when it comes to hot conditions. Gender differences were widely believed to be the reasons behind sweating more or less, and findings of recent research supported this hypothesis.
"The main finding of the present study is that the effects of training history on the sweating response were smaller in females than males, and this sex difference became more pronounced with increased exercise intensity. These findings support our hypothesis that increases in the sweat gland response to physical training would be smaller in the TF [trained females] group than in the TM [trained males] group", noted that study.