[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hy does it seem like women live longer than men? Because they actually do! The reason? Males born the same day as women are liable to die earlier than the women. So, how come women live longer than men then?
One early idea was that men work themselves into an early grave. Women don’t work as many hazardous jobs as men do. Whether working in a mine or tilling the land, they don’t put extra stress on their bodies and amass injuries like men.
The life expectancy from birth is still increasing for women as women live about 5% longer than men. As a recent article put it: “This remarkably consistent survival advantage of women compared with men in early life, in late life, and in total life is seen in every country in every year for which reliable birth and death records exist.” Records clearly show the trend.
So how do women live longer than men? Women today still outlive men by about as much as their stay-at-home mothers outlived their office-going fathers a generation ago.
Furthermore, looking at other animals, it turns out that the females of most species live longer than males. This phenomenon suggests that the explanation for the difference might lie deep in human biology.
Women live longer than men because they tend to have and maintain healthier lifestyles than their male counterparts. They are not heavy drinkers and smokers like men. But even female chimpanzees, gorillas also consistently outlive the males of the group, and we do not see apes – male or female – with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths and beer glasses in their hands.
Instead, it would seem like the answer lies in our evolution more than social and lifestyle factors.
Women menstruate while men do not. And a woman’s heart rate increases during the menstrual cycle, offering the same benefits as moderate exercise. The results in a delayed risk of cardiovascular disease in life.
The DNA known as chromosomes within each cell that come in pairs is another factor. Women have two X chromosomes, men have an X and a Y chromosome.
That difference may subtly alter the way that cells age. Having two X chromosomes, women keep double copies of every gene, meaning they have a spare if one is faulty. Men don’t have that back-up. The result is that more cells may begin to malfunction with time, putting men at greater risk of disease.
The female sex hormone oestrogen is an “antioxidant”, meaning that it mops up poisonous chemicals that cause cells stress. In animal experiments, females lacking oestrogen tend not to live so long as those who have not been operated on.
Nowadays women outlive men by about five to six years. By age 85 there are roughly six women to every four men. At age 100 the ratio is more than two to one. And by age 122—the current world record for human longevity—the score stands at one-nil in favour of women.
Could it be that women live longer because they play more roles in the cycle of life? In humans, as in most animal species, the state of the female body is very important for the success of reproduction.
The foetus needs to grow inside the mother’s womb, and the infant needs to suckle. The man’s reproductive role, on the other hand, is basically to deposit the seed in the woman and that’s basically it. No wonder a praying mantis eats the male during mating. Oops. Hehehehe. Too bad na woman kill am o.
Women live longer than men because they cry! “A man is not supposed to cry’” they’re told. And then they hold everything in until they implode.
Women don’t think as hard or are they as troubled silently to die with secrets. A man usually holds things inside and hardly shares what is troubling him. A woman is more susceptible to share her troubles and worries. Women talk much more than men about everything.
Women celebrate life. From birthdays to regular occasions and other anniversaries, women remember and celebrate more. Most ladies ask, “Where are we going to?” on the man’s birthday and still ask, “Where are you taking me to?” on her birthday. Men barely celebrate anything.
There are a million Mother’s Day in a year with just one Father’s Day. So many mother songs but hardly any father songs. Sweet Mother, I no go forget you for the suffer wey you suffer for me. Nothing for papa.
There are so many other reasons why women live longer than men. You can share and comment in the comment space below.
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