So most of us have noticed a difference between how men and women react to cold, and even that we feel cold at different temperatures, and most noticeably that women will generally feel cold before men.
(I’m guessing most men think a duvet with different togs per side is a good idea.)
Well, there are good reasons for it:
Research had shown a core temperature difference between men on women, with women having a core temperature about 0.4 ° C higher. (It’s likely that is a mechanism to protect the fetus during pregnancy
Along with that women a better and more contiguous layer of fat over the entire body.
The results are that women feet and hands are better insulated from the body temperature, therefore colder and furthermore that blood flow to the extremities is lower than men.
The further effect therefore is that ironically women feel cold quicker or at higher temperatures but in reality can actually deal with cold better.
So a woman taking up Open Water swimming, or just going for a quick dip, will have a bigger mental hurdle to overcome, but once habituated to the initial shock, will be able endure cold longer and better.