- Parent Category: Advanced News Lessons
- Category: Relationships Lessons
- Written by Chris Cotter
Women live longer than men. It's true in most countries, and has been a well-documented fact since the 18th century. Studies have attributed the causes for the difference to work, stress, diet, bad genes, just to name a few culprits. But a new theory proposes something entirely different. Men have shorter life spans because attracting a mate creates a lot of wear and tear, energy that may reduce a male's life span in the long run.
Daniel Kruger at the University of Michigan, whose study appeared in "Human Nature," suggests that animals that butt heads, or birds with spectacular plumage, are examples of how males advertise their suitability to potential female mates. Of course, humankind doesn't butt heads, nor do we necessarily fight for a woman's hand. Men instead compete for resources and social status, two factors valued in the selection process. They advertise the male's proven ability as a provider, similar to the brightly-colored feathers of male birds.
But what of males with a lower economic standing?
Another study published last year stated that these single men, particularly young single men, are more prone to risky behavior. They take excessive risks, are more aggressive, and suppress emotions, serving as a substitute for wealth and social status.
Both studies conclude that just as in the wild, women remain choosy when selecting a potential mate. The survival and success of their offspring is at stake. All that energy spent impressing the females of the species translates into shorter life spans.
Preview some of the lesson material:
Speculate: Write in the missing words for today's article title: "The Shorter ( ) of Men ( )." Why did you choose these words for the blanks?
Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.
- It's true in most countries, and has been...
- Men instead compete for resources and social status...
- Another study published last year stated that these single men, particularly young single men...
- Both studies conclude that just as in the wild...
- All that energy spent impressing...
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- Do you agree with the article's findings? Why/not?
- The lifespan of women has been decreasing recently. Why do you think this has happened?
- List as many stereotypes as possible about young men. With this list, do you agree that they are risk-takers?
- Is it possible to limit the risks young men take, or does it goes against millions of years of evolution?
- Why do you think young men take so many risks?
Google Search: Type "life span" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.