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How do female and male survivorship curves differ? What causes the difference?

Cervical Cancer research and treatment discussions

How do female and male survivorship curves differ? What causes the difference?

Postby rickie75 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:35 am

I would think that female mortality would be greater that male mortality toward the 20s(bc of child-bearing)... am i right? and what are other differences and causes?
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How do female and male survivorship curves differ? What causes the difference?

Postby awnan » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:43 am

Women tend to have a lower mortality rate at every age. In the womb, male fetuses have a higher mortality rate (babies are conceived at a ratio of about 124 males to 100 females, but the ratio of those surviving to birth is only 105 males to 100 females). Among the smallest premature babies (those under 2 pounds) females again have a higher survival rate. At the other extreme, about 90% of individuals aged 110 are female.

In the past, mortality rates for females in child-bearing age groups were higher than for males at the same age. This is no longer the case, and female human life expectancy is considerably higher than those of men. The reasons for this are not entirely certain. Traditional arguments tend to favor socio-environmental factors: historically, men have generally consumed more tobacco, alcohol and drugs than females in most societies, and are more likely to die from many associated diseases such as lung cancer, tuberculosis and cirrhosis of the liver. Men are more likely to die from injuries, whether unintentional (such as car accidents) or intentional (suicide, violence, war). Men are also more likely to die from most of the leading causes of death (some already stated above) than women. Some of these in the United States include: cancer of the respiratory system, motor vehicle accidents, suicide, cirrhosis of the liver, emphysema, and coronary heart disease. These far outweigh the female mortality rate from breast cancer and cervical cancer, etc.

However, such arguments are not entirely satisfactory and, even if the statistics are corrected for known socio-environmental effects on mortality, females still have longer life expectancy. Interestingly, the age of equalization (about 13) tends to be close to the age of menarche, suggesting a potential reproductive-equilibrium explanation.

Some argue that shorter male life expectancy is merely another manifestation of the general rule, seen in all mammal species, that larger individuals tend on average to have shorter lives. This biological difference occurs because women have more resistance to infections and degenerative diseases.

However, many do not agree that there is a difference and there is reason to suspect that this varies over a period of time and that gender is not a significant correlator of living longer.
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How do female and male survivorship curves differ? What causes the difference?

Postby gace20 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:54 am

Actually, that might very well have been the case once upon a time, but it is not any longer. Child bearing (at least in industrialized nations), is very safe these days, and hardly any females die as a result of it.

Males suffer higher rates of attrition at all ages than females do.

There are a variety of reasons and causes for this. In infancy and childhood, much of the greater male mortality rate stems from the fact that many of the fatal genetic defects humans suffer from are carried on the X chromosome, which means a male offspring will suffer from the defect if he inherits a single copy of the responsible gene, while a female has to inherit two copies in order to express a genetic illness.

The long and short of this is that males are three times as likely to suffer from and die from fatal genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis as females are.

Male social roles tend to also be more isolated and unforgiving than female social roles, which leads to an increased rate of suicide among males (as the adult role is imposed in the United States, for example, male suicide triples, while no such corresponding jump is seen in females during puberty and early adulthood).

Males are also the ones who bear the brunt of society's physically intensive labor, making them more likely to be severely injured or killed on the job, and they are less likely to take adequate care of themselves, leading more of them to suffer permanent consequences that might have been prevented if they had sought treatment out to begin with.

Additionally, males are more prone toward aggressive and risky behavior than females are, largely due to the fact that for much of our evolutionary history, such behavior was necessary to compete for the attention of females. As a result, they are more likely to die in accidents, they are more likely to be the victim of violent assault, and comprise approximately 2/3 of all murder victims.
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How do female and male survivorship curves differ? What causes the difference?

Postby lir » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:09 am

It is simple, men live shorter because they have to deal with women :-P.

In a more scientific note, men naturally take more risks to their lives. ie: most soldiers are men, and look at the traditional male jobs vs traditional female jobs. This skews the survivorship curve in favor of men dying sooner blame the testosterone for causing men to act more risky.
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