Are men the filthier sex?

That's if you believe a theory called the hygiene hypothesis. Many experts now say that the sterile, germ-free conditions many of us now live in are responsible for a rise in certain medical conditions, from allergies to auto-immune diseases.
Put simply, that's because our immune systems evolved to fight germs, parasites and bacteria. When there aren't any to fight, the immune system turns on itself, leading to a range of potential health problems.
The hygiene hypothesis is a theory, but a convincing one. In developing countries, very few people get asthma or Crohn's disease.
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So are men the filthier sex?
It seems pretty certain that, on average, men are a bit grubbier than women, but for most of us the difference is barely noticeable. It may also be true that some men have gone to the other extreme, obsessing about personal hygiene to what might once have been considered an 'unmanly' extent.
Does any of this do men any harm? In extreme cases, possibly, but as long as you do the basics - washing hands after going to the loo, showering regularly - you should be fine.
* What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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