Women are better at fighting infection and dealing with trauma than men are
Contrary to the age-old assumption that women are the 'weaker' sex, recent scientific findings have discovered that women are more ‘robust’ than men. Better yet, women are born this way, reports The Guardian.
The comparison between the sexes in terms of strength and survivability is something Steven Austad, an international expert on ageing and chair of the biology department at the University of Alabama, has spent two decades researching.
His findings have shown that women are more likely to dodge or survive illness than men are, and have a quicker recovery rate.
‘Pretty much at every age, women seem to survive better than men,’ says Austad. What is more, women outlive men by five to six years on average, and out of today’s 43 people living over the age of 110, 42 are women.
Statistically, new-born males have a 10 percent greater risk of death than new-born females, even when they are given the same amount of care. Although there is still a level of mystery around why this may be, scientists at the University of Adelaide believe that during pregnancy a woman’s placenta behaves differently depending on the sex of the baby, and protects a female better against infection, thus increasing their immunity.
Beyoncé performing whilst pregnant in 2012 and 2017
This is certainly proven in Austad’s findings, which show that in 2010 women in the US were less likely to die from 12 of the 15 main causes of death than men were, including cancer and heart disease. The one exception being Alzheimer’s disease.
In terms of less serious ailments such as colds and coughs, women were found to respond faster to infection as they ‘have a more robust immune response,’ says Kathryn Sandberg, director of the Centre for the Study of Sex Differences in Health, Ageing and Disease at Georgetown University. Having higher levels of oestrogen and progesterone are regarded as the reasoning behind this.
It is suggested that women have evolved to be especially durable over millennia. Research of hunter-gatherer societies have shown that the males and females in a tribe were equal in terms of physical work, but that women had the added burden of bearing children, meaning they had to be physically stronger than men. This upends the Flintstones model: the notion that suggests women merely stayed at home and raised children without lifting a finger.
Serena Williams was 8 weeks pregnant when she won the 2017 Australian Open
'Women have to reproduce. That means being pregnant for nine months. They’ve got to lactate. They’ve got to carry these kids. There’s something about being a human female that was shaped by evolution,’ says Adrienne Zihlman, an anthropologist at the University of California.
‘There is something about the female form, the female psyche, just the whole package, that was honed over thousands and thousands, even millions, of years to survive.’
READ MORE: Wonder Woman Is A Feminist Fist Pump Moment