Men who face plenty of competition to find a mate have slightly shorter lives than those who don’t.
New research shows that gender imbalance, when men outnumber women, affects male longevity by an average of about three months.
Although the link between gender ratio and longevity has been shown in animals, the study published in the journal Demography is thought to be the first to show the impact in humans.
“If you’re having a hard time finding a mate, it winds up affecting your body and how long you live,” said Professor Nicholas Christakis, of Harvard Medical School.
Three months may not seem like much, he added, but it is comparable to the effects of taking a daily aspirin, or engaging in moderate exercise.
“A 65-year-old man is typically expected to live another 15.4 years. Removing three months from this block of time is significant,” he explained.
I don’t think this is all that surprising; growing old alone is a rather miserable fate as it stands. When you add to that the way our culture treats men….well, there’s a reason that the suicide rate amongst elderly men is so high.