A disturbing image appeared in my twitter feed – How is it that I am likely to live nearly five years less than my female equivalent …outrage!!
This blatant inequality is a total disgrace and why aren’t us boys kicking up a storm about this injustice?
Why is it happening, what do I have to do different to sort it out? – I’m guessing if the shoe was on the other foot there would be riots in the streets but us boys have been way too passive and just putting up with it!
I asked my buddy Mr. Google for some answers. He’s normally quite helpful with these things.
It took me to an article on Psychology Today written by Christopher Bergland entitled “Why do women live longer than men?”
According to this article and related studies: Women live longer than men primarily because of modern lifestyle factors, rather than any biological difference. Statistically, women are less prone to heart disease and smoking related illnesses, which are the leading causes of death due to making healthier lifestyles choices.
Ok..In the world we live 4.5 years on average less than women but if I make healthier life choices I could beat these numbers and besides I don’t smoke. That doesn’t sound too bad!
I found another article on a BBC site with exactly the same title written by David Robson.
In this article he talks about: One early idea was that men work themselves into an early grave. Whether working in a mine or ploughing the land, they put extra stress on their bodies and amassed injuries that caught up with them later in life. Yet if that were the case, you might expect the gap to be closing, as both men and women converge on the same, sedentary jobs.
So gender equality might level the life scores as we will live longer and women will live shorter..hmm.
However changing lifestyles hasn’t changed the ‘life’ gap so this isn’t the answer.
In his article he does explore lifestyle choices, which he feels is a factor but he feels there is more than that: The fact is that female chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons also consistently outlive the males of the group, and you do not see apes – male or female – with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths and beer glasses in their hands.
So it’s more than healthy lifestyle choices and work patterns?
In this article some other quite painful research might point towards an answer – imagine the following headline on the front page of your daily newspaper!
Eunuchs are 130 times more likely to reach 100, compared to other men
The very thought of it makes me wince in pain and brings many tears to my eyes but apparently the answer to this ‘life’ gap question could be testosterone:
Evidence comes from an unexpected place: the Imperial Court of the Chosun Dynasty in Korea. Korean scientist Han-Nam Park recently analysed the detailed records of court life from the 19th Century, including information about 81 eunuchs whose testicles had been removed before puberty.
His analyses revealed that the eunuchs lived for around 70 years – compared to an average of just 50 years among the other men in the court. Overall, they were 130 times more likely to celebrate their hundredth birthday than the average man living in Korea at the time. Even the kings – who were the most pampered people in the palace – did not come close.
The article explores other evidence about the presence of our ‘cobblers’: In sad cases of mental health patients, institutionalised in the USA in the early 20th Century. A few were forcibly castrated as part of their “treatment”. Like the Korean eunuchs, they too lived for longer than the average inmate – but only if they had been sterilised before the age of 15.
More pain and even more tears..
It goes on to say that the female body could have advantages due to the sex hormone oestrogen, which can protect the woman’s health leading to longer life.
His article is inconclusive about why exactly us boys are expected to be around for shorter: Scientists admit that we need to keep on looking for a definitive answer.
I tend to agree!!