Men will die before women, at least statistically speaking. In developed nations, men tend to have shorter life expectancies than women. There are several theories about why this occurs, ranging from stress from the male gender role to biological factors such as the Y chromosome and natural selection. If you look at global averages, there is no country in which women have a longer life expectancy than men. This is true even of territories with particularly harsh conditions for men such as prisons or military service. But that’s not to say that every man has a shorter life expectancy than every woman everywhere on earth. In most parts of the world, men do tend to live shorter lives than women. The reasons for this can be complex and vary depending on where you are looking and what research you read, but some general trends appear again and again in most cultures around the world.
Basics of Gender and Life Expectancy
Gender refers to a social category of identity and behavior, whereas sex refers to biological factors. A person’s gender identity can diverge from their sex. The life expectancy of a person is the average length of time they can expect to live based on current global averages. The life expectancy of men and women around the world varies based on social factors such as wealth and education. Some biological factors could account for why men die before women. First, most men are bigger than most women. It takes more energy to maintain a larger frame, which is one factor that might lead to an earlier death. Second, men are more likely than women to engage in risky behavior like fighting, driving drunk, and taking part in extreme sports. All of these activities increase the chance of premature death.
Stress and the male gender role
Stress is a part of life for everyone, but some people are more likely to be stressed than others. For example, people in high-power positions might face more stress than an ordinary person, and people who have a lot of social obligations might be more stressed than a loner. In general, the male gender role is defined by behaviors and expectations such as being competitive, ambitious, physical, and promiscuous, while the female gender role includes behaviors such as being nurturing, empathetic, and demure. The idea is not to say that all men conform to the male gender role and all women to the female gender role, but that male and female cultures tend to encourage or discourage different sets of social behaviors. Some research suggests that men who conform to the male gender role are more likely to experience stress than men who do not. For example, high-powered men who have a lot of social obligations are more likely to experience stress than high-powered men who have few obligations. In addition, men who engage in the risky behaviors associated with the male gender role are more likely to experience stress than men who do not. For example, men who have a lot of sexual partners are more likely to experience stress than men who do not.
Y Chromosome and natural selection
The Y chromosome is the only chromosome that is not named after a woman. It is named after a man: the British biologist and geneticist who discovered it, Dr. Barr. The Y chromosome only has about 100 genes, compared with about 20,000 genes on the X chromosome. Although the chromosome is small and unassuming, it may play a large role in why men die before women. Why might the Y chromosome cause men die before women? One theory is that the Y chromosome is naturally selected to cause death earlier in life. In other words, the chromosome would cause men to die before women because the genes on it would be actively selected to kill men before they could reproduce and pass the chromosome on to the next generation. This would be a form of natural selection.
Biology: Men are bigger, stronger, and faster runners
Indeed, men are generally physically stronger than women, but that does not mean that women are weaker than men. It simply means that men have more muscle mass than women. These differences may lead to a difference in life expectancy. For example, a study on the effects of running on males and females concluded that the reason more men than women die during marathons is not that women are less capable of running long distances, but because they have a different strategy. Men are more likely to push themselves to keep running as fast as they can, while women slow down, drink water, and walk more frequently. Thus, the main biological difference between men and women that might affect life expectancy is that men are generally bigger and stronger than women, which would allow them to be better able to perform feats of strength, such as lifting heavy objects or fighting.
All of these factors are likely to have some effect on life expectancy. Although this article discusses some of the reasons why men die before women, it is important to keep in mind that this is a general trend. Even in cultures where men have a shorter life expectancy than women, some individual men die before individual women. In other words, the statistical trend does not necessarily apply to every single man and every single woman. Moreover, many other factors could affect life expectancy. Some social factors such as education and wealth are also likely to be important, while others such as diet and exercise may also play a role. There is no one simple reason that men die before women. All of these factors are likely to have some effect on life expectancy. Although this article discusses some of the reasons why men die before women, it is important to keep in mind that this is a general trend.