Why the centenarian gender gap exists – and whether men will catch up
Published: May 4, 2017
Dawn Bowdish, MIRA member and associate professor of immunology at McMaster University was featured in a Globe and Mail article about centenarian's--people who live beyond 100 years.
Because of childbearing and child-rearing, “there’s strong evolutionary pressure for old age in women,” said Bowdish.
Children require more time to raise than other mammals, resulting in a need for extended caregiving, she explained. Population data from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries show that women who lived in close proximity to their mothers tended to have more children than those who did not.
The need for extended caregiving may explain menopause, she added. Because women stop having babies, they can direct their energies into helping with the grandkids. Hormonal differences, combined with other aspects of women’s physiologies, “predispose women to live longer than men.”
Read the full article here.