Why do women live longer than men?
Men traditionally do not live very long, due to long-held habits such as smoking.
In 2016, the National Center for Health Statistics released data showing that women in the US could live an average of 81.1 years, while men, 76.1. This shows that it is a full five years less. As a consequence, a scientific question has been raised: Why does it happen?
In an essay written for Nautilus, Richard G. Bribiescas, a professor of anthropology, ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University, believes the answer lies outside of the male gender making poor life choices. Biologically, men can expect limited lifespans due to the hormone testosterone, writes abcneës.al.
Bribiescas argues that, while testosterone provides beneficial increases in libido, mood and aggression, to some extent, for both survival and reproduction there is a biological price paid for the apparently higher levels seen in men than women.
Testosterone can affect the body’s immunological response, suppressing the immune system and making men more susceptible to disease. The hormone has also been associated with increased risk of cancer, including prostate cancer.
Evolution seems to have tolerated testosterone because of its impact on reproduction, so the male body hasn’t found a way to discard the hormone. But men may not lose years for more. A statistical analysis by Cass Business School in the United Kingdom predicts that men and women both could live an average of 87.5 years by 2032.
Life expectancy can be improved as a result of less alcohol consumption and smoking, as well as better treatments for heart disease. But this is just a prediction. It may be that testosterone will continue to be a natural risk factor for men, one that no amount of lifestyle changes can overcome./ abcnews