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The Shorter Lives of Men Explained

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Women live longer than men. It's true in most countries, and has been a known fact since the 18th century. Studies to discover the possible reasons have been done, and there are many possible explanations. Some reasons include work habits, stress, diet, and bad genes. But a new idea suggests something different. Men have shorter life spans because attracting a partner takes a lot of energy, which reduces the number of years a man lives.

Daniel Kruger at the University of Michigan suggests that many animals advertise their suitability to females. For example, some animals butt heads. Other animals have beautiful feathers. Human males compete for money, property, and social status. If a man has money and social status, they show their ability to provide food, clothes, education, and so on for a future family.

But what about men with less money or power?

Another study explained that young, single men often take risks. They are also more aggressive and hold back their emotions. These actions have the same effect as money and social status.

Both studies conclude that women carefully select a partner, because of the survival and success of their children. All of the energy which is used to impress women means shorter life spans for men.

Preview some of the lesson material:

Brainstorm: Brainstorm with a partner words and ideas for "life span" for two minutes. Next, talk about the words and ideas for five minutes.

Fragments: Remember how the fragments were used, and complete the sentence from today's article.

  1. It's true in most countries, and...
  2. Human males compete for...
  3. But what about...
  4. All of the energy which is used to...

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. Do you agree with the article's findings? Why/not?
  2. Were you surprised by the article's findings? Why/not?
  3. The lifespan of women has been decreasing recently. Why do you think so?
  4. Is it possible to limit the risks young men take? Why do / don't you think so?
  5. 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.

Download the lesson:



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