The reasons why women live longer than men include ignoring weakness and disinterest in health matters. These reasons men die first include tips for living a longer, healthier life — for both men and women!
One reason women have longer lifespans is simply that men don’t take as good care of their health. They can be sicker than sick, but refuse to seek medical attention (while enjoying all the attention women can stand to give!). Men have to be nagged into going to the doctor for their annual physicals, the dentist for their plaque scraped away, and their proctologist for help with their nether regions.
But sometimes even healthy men fall prey to shorter lifespans than women. To learn more about aging and longevity, read Why Men Die First: How to Lengthen Your Lifespan by Dr Marianne Legato.
And, here are ten reasons why women live longer than men…
Why Women Live Longer Than Men – 10 Reasons Men Die First
1. Men don’t listen to their bodies. “Men are more at risk of early death because they are taught to ignore weakness, illness, and health concerns,” says Royda Crose, author of Why Women Live Longer Than Men : And What Men Can Do About It. “They not only don’t listen to their bodies, but they are applauded for the denial of pain and discomfort.” Even healthy men learn to deny and ignore pain, which affects longevity. When they’re hurt playing sports, they tend to shake it off and keep going – unless they’re bleeding or broken.
2. The media teaches men to be strong and silent. Another reason women are more likely to be widows is that the movies and television portray men as superheroes who put themselves in harm’s way (bombs! car chases! leaps from tall buildings!) and take extraordinary risks to protect beautiful women. Generally, men are taught to keep their feelings to themselves. Thus, if they’re in physical pain they may not say anything until it’s too late – which is why healthy women live longer than men.
3. Men aren’t as interested in health, wellness, aging, or longevity. “Many studies have shown that we’re less interested in health issues than women,” writes Jed Diamond in The Whole Man Program: Reinvigorating Your Body, Mind, and Spirit after 40. “Most of us are more interested in the health of our automobiles that the health of our bodies.” Men may not take better care of their health because they simply aren’t up on the latest health research, which affects their lifespans. Diamond quotes Dr Ken Goldberg of the Male Health Center: “One reason men don’t think about routine maintenance for their bodies is that they know next to nothing about how they work.”
4. Men are proud of their “badges of courage.” Men may not take better care of their health because cuts, scratches, and bruises are badges of courage. Walking around on crutches because of a football injury or brandishing a broken arm from building a roof are part of being a man’s man. Healthy men may eat nutritious foods and exercise regularly, but they still enjoy collecting those battle scars – which is a reason women live longer.
5. Illness isn’t masculine. “If we ignore pain, it’s easy to believe that our bodies are invincible,” writes Diamond in The Whole Man Program. “We can identify with our action figures that are perfect and strong all the time….For many of us, getting sick or hurt is a sign of weakness.” Healthy women may live longer than men because they take better care of themselves when they’re ill, cope with chronic disease better, and they admit when they’re sick.
6. Taking care of health for men is seen as unmanly. Another reason women live longer than men is that men may not take care of their bodies — even when they’re healthy. They don’t take advantage of the tried-and-true physical health tips! For instance, I go for regular massages (and have learned how to relax during a massage), exercise four times a week, explore new ways to work out, and floss my teeth almost every night. Can I say the same for my darling husband whom I love dearly? Not so much.
7. Men are afraid of giving up control. “Women learn early on that there are things about their bodies that are beyond their control. They have a monthly period, whether they like it or not,” writes Diamond in The Whole Man Program. Healthy men, on the other hand, find that letting their guard down by going to the doctor forces them to be vulnerable to another human being – and they’d rather die than do that. So, women have longer lifespans than men because women are more comfortable being vulnerable.
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8. Parents reinforce emotional suppression. Research shows that boy babies are cuddled and touched less than girl babies. Boys receive more rough play than girls, who are treated more gently and softly. “As early as their sons’ first year, mothers tend to spend less time with their little boys,” says Diamond. “By the time they are a year and a half boys are left to play alone more often and for longer periods of time than little girls.” Men may be less connected to their feelings; when they’re asked “How are you feeling?”, even healthy men may not know.
9. Women reinforce the tough guy image. Men wonder why nice guys never get dates, and why the “bad boys” get all the women. This belief – even if it isn’t true – reinforces the idea that men need to be tough, strong, and BAAAAD to attract beautiful women. This belief keeps men believing that illness isn’t masculine, makes them less likely to take care of their health, and possibly leads to earlier death for men. It certainly doesn’t make them seek out those anti-aging foods!
10. Men risk their health for women. Men will often do whatever it takes to get and keep a woman: taking jobs that are dangerous, putting in long hours of overtime, and increasing his resources so he keeps his woman. Women may live longer than men simply because men are more focused on working and mating, not on taking better care of their health….which, again, increases aging and decreases longevity.
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
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What do you think of these reasons women live longer than women? I welcome your comments below…