Health

Lifespan Study Says Men Are Wimps

A new theory suggests men die first because they're more "fragile"

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If the "Golden Girls" taught me anything, it's that women live longer than men (and cheesecake is the solution to all problems).

Most of us already know this, but have you ever thought about why women live longer?

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One new theory is that men are inherently more fragile than women. It might sound nutty when you think about the rippling physique of Channing Tatum or The Rock (oh, sorry "Dwayne Johnson"), but science is backing up this notion.

Exhibit A: The new theory suggests that more baby boys are conceived and born (107-170 males for every 100 females) to make up for the greater number of men dying before females.

And it plays out in all population numbers. Whether you're looking at babies, teens, people in their 20s and 30s or beyond, more men die than women in every age group. So the gap can't be chalked up to teenage boys participating in risky "Jackass" behaviors or 50 year olds skipping their prostate exam.

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So what exactly makes these men "fragile"? Some researchers blame testosterone for making men more violent and prone to harmful activities. Others say it's because men are physically larger in size -- a feature that works against them since larger bodies deteriorate faster (this is true in other groups like mammals and fish). And, then there's the more general explanation: it's just an overall "weakness" in men that causes them to die early. Vague. But intriguing.

We guarantee this new theory will be a tough one to swallow for most guys, and more research needs to be done, but we'd love to put this theory to the test by challenging men to a bikini wax-off or having them test drive pregnancy and childbirth.

But what's your take: Are men the weaker sex?

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