Are Women Living Longer than Man? Essay

2426 Words 10 Pages
The question of women living longer than men has historically been a fundamental one, and certainly there has not been a lack of attention devoted to it. While the type of experiments that need to be done with humans are not ethically possible, scientists have made use of species closely related to us, model species, and statistics gathered from multiple organisations. In this way, there are considerable amounts of data that have been amassed concerning the differences between the two sexes, and not just in humans. While this makes it relatively easy to suggest hypotheses, as surely some results will follow a suggested trend, the quantity will make it hard to see the real and underlying explanations that are potentially there. Some …show more content…
The question of women living longer than men has historically been a fundamental one, and certainly there has not been a lack of attention devoted to it. While the type of experiments that need to be done with humans are not ethically possible, scientists have made use of species closely related to us, model species, and statistics gathered from multiple organisations. In this way, there are considerable amounts of data that have been amassed concerning the differences between the two sexes, and not just in humans. While this makes it relatively easy to suggest hypotheses, as surely some results will follow a suggested trend, the quantity will make it hard to see the real and underlying explanations that are potentially there. Some theories are perhaps better backed up by research than others, and for that reason I will only include a few strong examples. I will also suggest a theory that is not currently in favour with the scientific community as a whole, supported mainly by Nick Lane and his book. The areas that are covered are: sexual selection, psychology and social behaviour, and genetics, all considered under the wide-reaching envelope of evolutionary theory. Natural selection alone cannot provide a clear cut explanation, and despite the plentiful availability of hypotheses that link sexual selection and ageing, the complexity of the relationship between sex, mortality rate, and ageing remains poorly understood. The case is not a simple one, as will be explained, and
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