Thermal comfort and gender: A literature review

Sami Karjalainen

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

    349 Citations (Scopus)


    This review examines scientific literature on the effect of gender on indoor thermal comfort. Gender differences have been generally considered to be small and insignificant but this review shows that a growing number of studies have found significant differences in thermal comfort between the genders. Clearly more than half of the laboratory and field studies have found that females express more dissatisfaction than males in the same thermal environments. Very few studies have found males to be more dissatisfied than females. A meta‐analysis shows that females are more likely than males to express thermal dissatisfaction (ratio: 1.74, 95% confidence interval: 1.61–1.89). However, most studies found no significant difference in neutral temperatures between the genders. Females are more sensitive than males to a deviation from an optimal temperature and express more dissatisfaction, especially in cooler conditions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)96-109
    JournalIndoor Air
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


    • Thermal discomfort
    • thermal dissatisfaction
    • neutral temperature
    • meta-analysis
    • individual control
    • personal control
    • adaptive opportunities
    • sex


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