It seems even before conception, the male species is always at risk...if only the strong survive rules, it seems females are are at the top of the chain. Sperm carrying the female chromosomes survive easier than the male ones. Mortality rates among female fetuses is also lower. And of course, women live longer than men do.
Why is that?
Dr. Daniel Kruger of the University of Michigan has been taking a genetic, psychological, behavioral, and social look as to why being a man seems to be much more dangerous. His paper, "Evolution and Mortality Patterns" is being presented to the journal Human Nature later this month. In it, he investigates several theories as to the mystery of male mortality. To sum it up: competing for females can physcially wear down or kill a man. And this isn't exclusive to HUMAN males either.
Even in chimpanzees, Dr. Kruger found that the mortality rate peaks at age 13 - just at a time when males are competing for females and for social status. Just think about it for a second - from two bucks slamming into each other for the right to "get busy" with a doe, to the elementary school playground where two boys are wrestling in order to show off for the attention of the cute blond...males are constantly entering in risky behavior in order to not only show dominance, but to win the love of a female.
In early caveman days, men had to bring home the biggest kill or literally beat the crap out of fellow suitors to vie for the privledge of gaining a mate. These days, that same competition exists but just in a different form. Instead of showing off killing a wooly mammoth, men fight for the blingy bling-bling - guys will drive expensive SUVs, wear the nicest watch, and battle it out on the corporate ladder.
"Men compete for resources and social status, which are critera men are valued for in mate selection," Kruger reported.
Simply put, in order to impress women, men still will engage in dangerous and risky behavior. Also, competing and striving to climb up the social status ladder puts pressures and adversely affects men's health and lifespan. And going back to the chimpanzee study, the peak for participating in risky behavior is in young male adulthood. In the old days, young guys were able to show their prowess during warfare. These days, young men find other ways to place their lives at risk in order to compete for women's attention.
(By the way, HALF of the football fans packing stadiums across the country are WOMEN).
In fact, 3 young men die for every 1 young woman that dies, on average.
These risky behaviors include smoking, heavy drinking, reckless driving, stupid physical stunts, and violence. After studying the data of men from 70 different countries, Dr. Kruger noticed that men of lower social status lacking a mate were much more likely to engage in these reckless behavior patterns.
On the other side of that, personally I've seen many financially successful men turn to smoking, drinking, and drug use due to the pressures of competing in the world of social status. Although Dr. Kruger's findings are logical, since men that lack such resources then have to "show off" more in order to compete for women.
Or maybe they're depressed they're still living in their parents' basements???
So my question is, who's the lady stuntman/illusionist David Blaine is trying to impress?