Science proves that women are stronger than men

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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We may be graced with the dubious title of being the “weaker sex”, but people are finally starting to wake up to the power of what it means to be a woman.

Whether it’s battling ailments such as illnesses and disease, or simply living a longer life, it appears that women truly are stronger than men – and researchers have found the data to prove it.

For an example of this, look no further than the studies undertaken by Steven Austad, chair of the biology department at the University of Alabama and an expert in the field of ageing, which are a perfect case in point.

For nearly 20 years, Austad has been investigating an irrefutable fact: that all over the world, women live longer than men. Throughout his research, he has found that women constantly outlive men by an average of five or six years.

“Pretty much at every age, women seem to survive better than men,” he told The Guardian.

Austad continued the theme by referencing his research into death rates in the United States in 2010.

Here he found that 12 of the 15 most common causes of death, which include cancer and heart disease, killed women at a lower rate than men. For the three remaining causes, both sexes had a similar likelihood of dying from Parkinson’s or a stroke, while women were only more likely than men to die of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Once I started investigating, I found that women had resistance to almost all the major causes of death,” he said.

This finding is made all the more surprising by the fact that women face a real social inequality compared to men. After all, we are twice as likely as men to develop mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, we are more likely to be the victims of a violent act and we earn, on average, a considerable amount less money than men.

Yet in the face of all these inequalities, we are still thriving – and surviving – for longer than our male counterparts.

But why?

Writing on the World Economic Forum, Shervin Assari, a research investigator of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, argued that women are more health aware than men, which can help them to develop their strengths and live longer.

“Studies have shown that, in general, women are more health conscious, and they have higher awareness of their physical and mental symptoms,” he wrote. “These all result in healthier lifestyles and better health care use. Women also communicate better about their problems, which helps the process of diagnosis.”

Add this to the simple fact that women have the ability to grow and give birth to a child, and you have even further proof of their superior strength.

“Women have to reproduce. That means being pregnant for nine months,” Adrienne Zihlman, an anthropologist at the University of California, told The Guardian. “They’ve got to lactate. They’ve got to carry these kids. There’s something about being a human female that was shaped by evolution.

There is something about the female form, the female psyche, just the whole package, that was honed over thousands and thousands, even millions, of years to survive.”

You need only look at Serena Williams, who was eight weeks pregnant when she smashed her way to victory in the Australian Open last January, for proof of the power of a pregnant female.

All in all, it makes us pretty proud to be women...

Images: Film stills /  Rex Features


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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Commissioning Editor at Stylist. Follow her on Twitter