I’m of the school of thought that the primary reason women seem to feel cold at higher temperatures than men is primarily due to differences in the ratio of body surface area to body volume. If I may preach for a moment…
Like most engines, our bodies are constantly producing heat. To feel comfortable, we have to shed this excess heat, usually into the air around us. But, you can only shed as much heat into the air as your skin will allow. Men are, generally, larger and heavier than women, but the skin surface areas of members of each gender are pretty comparable. All this extra volume in us males produces extra heat, but we don’t really have much more skin with which to push it out. If the air is colder, our skin has an easier time shedding the heat. Thus, we males feel more comfortable at lower temperatures than women.
And from this foundation springs all sorts of intergender spats and misunderstandings, including the mystery of the sweater over the hands. I’m sure it’s just a coldness thing, women trying to get by at the temperature we fellas find comfy.
Then again, maybe the women are all just trying to imitate Jennifer Love Hewitt on Party of Five. Covering her hands with her sweater-sleeves was one of the only things she did well, and on that show she played it to the bone.