Women live longer than men because of Stone Age sex patterns
WOMEN LIVE LONGER than men because of Stone Age sex harems and violence, a study reveals today.
Scientists have long struggled to explain men tend to live to an average of 75 while women live to an average of 80.
And now, it seems, the reason is our prehistoric male ancestors kept females harems – and fought over them to procreate. Because male life was harsh and brutal, evolutionary forces focused on making them big and strong, instead of long-lived.
The report, published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences, is by Prof Tim Clutton-Brock of Cambridge University and Dr Kavita Isvaran of the Centre for Ecological Studies, Bangalore, India
They found that the difference in lifespan between males and females in creatures like baboons, lions and wild dogs, is proportionate to the degree the society is polygenous, that is, where the male has several breeding partners.
‘The fact that there are sex differences in the life spans of men and women suggests that our ancestors were not monogamous,’ Professor Clutton-Brock tells the Telegraph.
‘If a successful male guards 10 females, there are nine other males that are excluded. They are waiting around to topple the successful male whenever they can.
‘As a result, the effective breeding life span of males in polygynous societies is shorter than that of females – because males are likely to get knocked off their perch by competitors. In this situation, it is not worth males investing in bodies that last as long as those of females.’