There are times in life when it seems like being a man is just easier than being a woman (childbirth probably comes to mind for most women who have experienced it). When it comes to life expectancy though, those with XX chromosomes have the advantage.
On average, women can be expected to live 5-10 years longer than men do.
MSN Living explored the reasons why most women have a longer life span than men.
Here’s what they found:
- Criminal activity: Researchers found that men are more likely to commit a crime than women, which decreases their life expectancy
- Height: Studies have shown that height—especially being over 6 feet tall—is attributed to dying earlier than those who are shorter. The average American male is 5’10”, which is close to that 6’ mark,contributing to the reduction in life span.
- Greater susceptibility to disease: Unfortunately for men, they are just more likely to succumb to disease than women.
- Heart Disease: While heart disease kills women too, men are susceptible earlier on because higher levels of estrogen in females protect their hearts longer. To combat this, men must ensure they are looking after their heart health through a healthy diet, exercise, and regular check-ups with their doctor.
- Chromosomes: This shows that it really is biological. Some scientists believe that women are less susceptible to diseases that affect the X chromosome because they have a second X chromosome, whereas men only have the one X chromosome.
- Riskier lifestyle: Another contributing factor to mortality is that men are more likely to drink, smoke, and partake in other risky lifestyle behavior than women.
- Longer biological clock: We often refer to biological clocks as it relates to reproduction and we know that in that case, women’s are shorter than men’s. When it comes to an actual biological indicator though, women just have a longer biological clock.
- The role of caregiver: Women typically have the role of caregiver in families, which gives them greater longevity. This is attributed to the survival of females since the first human beings.
- Higher metabolism: Women often envy the higher metabolisms of men because it means they lose weight easier. It has its drawbacks though as it means that men go through stem cells faster, causing lesser life spans.
- High-risk occupations: While gender stereotypes have certainly changed in the past few decades, the highest-risk occupations are still filled predominately by men. This means that the probability of succumbing to an occupational fatality is higher for men than women.
Now that men know some of the reasons they have shorter life spans than women, they can take some steps to reduce their risks.