Saturday, January 12, 2008

Why Do Women Live Longer?

But seriously folks! We all know that women live longer than men. Since the dawn of "man", women have outlived their friends and family no matter what race, where they live in the world, and how rich or poor they are. I was curious today to find a scientific reason why this occurs due to a discussion I was having with my wife, her mom, and grandmother. We had some basic disagreements and I was not going to win being outnumbered 3 to 1. So here is what I found.

from Maxim Magazine
"Although guys are stronger and faster than women, women outlive men in most countries, in some cases by more than 10 years. In the US, life expectancy for men and women at birth is about 72 years and 79 years, respectively. Why? For starters, men work dangerous jobs, fight wars, and go to prison - activities not conducive to long lives - far more often than women. We also experience a greater risk of heart disease after age 40, whereas women aren't really at risk until they reach menopause. (Testosterone not only increases cholesterol levels but also causes recklessness that leads both to violence and to impress-your-friends miter-saw accidents.) Still other researchers attribute the difference to stress. "Socially speaking, they are just better coping mechanisms for girls," says Peg Jordan, president of Health & Lifestyle, Inc., in Oakland, CA.

from the Economist
That question can be answered at two levels. An evolutionary biologist would tell you that it is because women get evolutionary bonus points from living long enough to help bring up the grandchildren. Men, by contrast, wear themselves out competing for the right to procreate in the first place. That is probably true, but not much help to the medical profession.…

Here is a link to an article on WebMD. I'm sure there are many other quotes out there. Make a comment with them here if you like.

So it's not necessarily that women are that much better, it's that most men are just stupid and let testosterone take over. I try to live my life outside most of the stereotypes of men discussed in the above quotes, so maybe, just maybe I will beat the odds. I'm married and only want to impress her, I don't work at a dangerous job, fight, or do violent or dangerous things (beside driving around), never have been in prison, I don't do stupid things to impress my friends or family (at least I don't think so). I'm adopted so I don't know my biological family medical history. I guess I do stress more than most, but maybe not as much as my wife. Only time will tell for me, but as time has already told, women will always out live men.

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