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Why Males Die Before Females

By Chris V. Thangham     Oct 18, 2007 in Health
British scientists claim, that in humans and animal species, males age faster and die earlier than females because of intense competition over sex. They found this characteristic in 20 different vertebrate species.
Tim Clutton-Brock and Kavita Isvaran at the University of Cambridge in England compared monogamous species with polygynous species (where each male mates with many females). They investigated more than 20 different vertebrate species to see whether any difference exists between the males and females.
They compared males in monogamous species, such as the barnacle goose or the dwarf mongoose (who compete less over females), with males in polygynous species such as the red winged blackbird or the savannah baboon.
Researchers said intense competition among males for sex results in each male having less time to breed. They said these males find there is no strong incentive for them to evolve to survive longer.
Clutton-Brock speculates this behavior in humans might have evolved as early as in the Stone Age where males might have exhibited polygynous behavior.
The findings of this study are in the journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B., online today.
In my opinion, I think men work more hours and do more physical work than women, and that may strain their body and cause them to live shorter lives than women. These days, however, women work just as much as men.
The study doesn’t talk about the fights involved in competition; there may be lot of physical injuries inflicted on both parties that may hasten death as well.
Also, I thought they studied this in “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” :)
Do you agree with this study?
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