Have you ever wondered why women live longer and healthier than men do? Well, it may be politically incorrect to say so, but a big reason has to do with basic biology. At conception, the fertilized human egg is neither male nor female, until all those random chromosomes start sending out signals to ramp up production of either male androgens or female estrogens. And at that very moment, the longevity gap between the two sexes begins. More miscarried or stillborn fetuses are male than female. More boys are born prematurely than girls, and more have lower Apgar scores at birth.
Females are the long-distance runners in the longevity race, born with stronger immune systems and survival instincts. Some scientists theorize that testosterone-driven risk-taking behavior, whether it be sky-diving or fire-fighting or playing rugby or gambling, was hard-wired into the male genetic code in the evolutionary past.
And a Dutch study showed that boys aged are much more frequently admitted to hospitals than girls of the same age. Males stand a lesser chance of living to a ripe old age right from the genetic get-go. In every age group, they are at a higher risk of dying, especially between 15 and 24 years old, when risky behavior is at its peak.
Boys and men are more liable to die in accidents, suicides, car crashes, and homicides than are women. As a result, by age 35, women start to outnumber men in the general population. By age , women outnumber men 8 to 1. In , there was only a one-year longevity gap. What profound changes of the 20th century — wars, industrialization, economics, technology? For instance, why do almost twice as many men die of coronary artery disease than women? Why does a black man stand a 1 in 30 chance of being murdered, while a white woman stands only a 1 in chance?
Mother Knew Best Because Mommies take both sons and daughters for regular check-ups and emergency medical care, our children are usually all properly immunized, tested, monitored, and treated And a third of American men just flat-out refuse to go for annual checkups and tests even when the visits are fully paid for by their health insurance. Pain Why such a vast difference between male vs. It probably all boils down to a difference in experience.
From an early age, females are much more accustomed to getting poked or prodded, especially during their childbearing years. And once the children are born, women traditionally become the caregivers who keep them healthy and safe. So girls and women are just more familiar with the medical establishment. Women tend to view regular medical care as a means of preventing ailments, not just as a means of treating a dire emergency.
But apparently this reluctance is a worldwide male behavior, not just American, so maybe some of this fear of doctors is hard-wired. Adult males are indeed physically stronger and larger than females. Since caveman days, the male of the species was the designated hunter and warrior, protector and provider, and their self-image was based on their physical prowess. To display any weakness i.
This all goes a long way in explaining why women tend to live longer than men do, around the world. Remember Jim Fixx, the s running guru, who dropped dead of a heart attack at 52? His own father died of a heart attack at Where are all the marches and fund-raisers to save our little boys from becoming a needless statistic? Boys need to be know more about how the whole human body works not just their reproductive parts — about the interplay of nutrition, personal safety, genetics, hygiene, and dealing with emotions and relationships.
Boys should not be totally focused on how their bodies look on the outside — what goes on beneath all those muscles is way more important if they want to live long and prosper.
We need to start a kitchen table talk and a national debate about how our sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers deserve better medical attention and health advice, and how we can all make it less anxiety-provoking for them to get it. They need not suffer in silence or ignorance.
Learn more at www. Give your body a rest. Spend less time in seated positions and more time on your feet and moving. Treat yourself to fresh air and sunshine every day, no matter the weather. Prioritize your schedule around your personal life, not just on work and chores. De-stress in the company of friends, family and neighbors. Find undisturbed totally-private time every day — pray, soak in the tub, meditate, stare at the moon.
Unplug from everything and be still, if only for a few minutes. Turn off and tune out distractions — focus on one thing at a time. Get out of the rut and stay curious — indulge in a hobby, read a real book, join a club, try a new food, take a different route. Eat more chocolate, fish, fresh produce and whole grains, and less sugar, salt, and fatty junk foods.
Get a checkup every year.