It is said that women live longer than men, but is there any truth behind this claim? Yes. Women across industrialized countries live five to 10 years longer than men. According to an article in Time Magazine, 85 percent of people 100 and older are women. Researcher Tom Perls, founder of the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University and creator of the website LivingTo100.com, attributes this to the delay women have when it come to diseases like heart attack and stroke. These problems usually develop earlier in life for men. This is just one of the many reasons why women live longer, and it does not only have to do with genetics.
According to Scientific American, one reason might be that women have healthier habits that men. Drinking, smoking, and poor diet and exercise all increase the chances of an earlier death. Poor lifestyle habits might be one contributing factor to the 60 percent disparity between men and women. Philip Cohen, professor of sociology at University of Maryland, College Park says in The Atlantic that social factors have a huge influence. His 2012 research showed that "while more than 80 percent of American men born in 1901 smoked by their 30s, smoking rates among women of that generation "never surpassed 55 percent,” as reported by The Huffington Post. Lifestyle factors play a major role, and men still smoke more than women.
Contrasting to Cohen’s arguments are those made by Perls. Perls believes there is a phenomenon called “testosterone storm,” which involves the surge of hormones that men in their late teens and early 20s experience. “The levels of the hormone can be quite high and changeable, and that can induce some pretty dangerous behavior among young men. They don't wear their seatbelts, they drink too much alcohol, they can be aggressive with weapons, and so on and so forth. These behaviors lead to a higher death rate,” he concluded.
Previous research has found that many people don’t even believe in the biological gender gap theory. Only 16 to 14 percent actually attributed genetics to the differences in gender. So what’s the conclusion from all of this? Well, the simple answer might be that women are just more aware of their bodies, thus taking care of their overall health better. Or there could be unfound evidence. Either way, it’s important for everyone, no matter what gender or age, to maintain a healthy lifestyle comprised of healthy eating and exercise.