A research report by Duke University in North Carolina, United States, has declared men the weaker sex. Contrary to beliefs passed down generations, it now emerges that the ‘boy child’, as he is famously referred to in the Kenyan context, has been living an absolute fantasy.
The report has dug into 250 years in history and unearthed disturbing ghosts that will definitely haunt male chauvinists, indicating that women not only live longer than men, but are likely to survive – and they have survived – the worst of disasters ever recorded in the human history. Man’s disadvantage The report, also published by The Guardian in London, examined famines, slavery, and disease outbreaks like measles in all in their extremes and concluded that the gender gap is actually to the man’s disadvantage.
According to the report, even when mortality was very high for both sexes, women still outlived men, on average, by six months to four years.
For example, the freed American slaves who relocated to Liberia between 1820 and 1843 in an exercise which recorded the highest ever deaths, 43 per cent died within a year of their arrival. Calculations showed life expectancy for the boys was at a low of 1.68 (barely two years) but the girl boasted of 2.23.
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In Kenya, confirmed reports by World Health Organisation in 2016 have shown that women actually have a longer life expectancy at 65 years compared to men at 61. Life expectancy in Kenya stands at 62, up from 51 some 16 years ago.
The underlying advantage for women, according to lead scientist Virginia Zarulli for the research, lies in the genetic make-up of women’s XX chromosome. This is combined with the oestrogen hormone, that helped them withstand the violence and other chaos they went through.
“In simple words, it is easy to see that if, by chance, a bad mutation takes place on the X chromosome, women have another X that can partly – or totally – compensate for it, while men don’t have this possibility,” explained Zarulli.
Men’s genetic make-up is comprised of XY chromosome. It was claimed by Zarulli that the oestrogen hormone in women tends to protect them from diseases, some of which are fatal. This is unlike testosterone hormone in men, which apart from exposing them to risky behaviours that may lead to accidents and even deaths, leaves their immunity less protected.
But apart from gene, the weakness of the ‘boy child’ was exhibited in his inability to survive without food. The report claimed girls who were born in Ukraine during the 1933 famine lived an average of 11 years compared to boys who only made it to age seven.