Research Suggests Women Live Longer Than Men Even In Times Of Hunger And Epidemics

Date February 13, 2018

It has been noticed that women all over the world live longer than men. And in some countries, the difference is around 10-15 years. This mysterious phenomenon has intrigued many researchers over the years. Finally, scientists managed to find the reason.

James Vopel from Duke University and a team of scientists from the University of Southern Denmark (led by Virginia Zarulli) analyzed information on mortality in different countries over the past couple of hundred years. First of all, researchers were interested in people who died because of hunger and diseases.

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Girls are more resilient than boys from birth

Veronika Galkina /

This study covered 7 groups of population: former slaves in Trinidad and the US (early 1800s), victims of famine in Sweden, Ireland and Ukraine (XVIII, XIX and XX centuries), as well as those affected by two measles epidemics in Iceland ( 1846 and 1882).

A careful analysis of numerous historical records showed that women are more likely to live longer than men even in times of epidemics, hunger and other life crises.

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Researchers found out that even when the overall mortality rate was high, women still lived longer, and this difference was from six months to four years. According to another study, the survival rate of girls born in Ukraine in 1933 (Holodomor) was 50% higher than that of boys!


It is interesting that the gender gap in life expectancy is already manifested among infants. Since at this age any behavioral differences between the sexes are minimal, the explanation lies in biological characteristics.

About women's sustainability

According to scientists, the survival of women in times of serious crisis is largely due to biological factors (for example, genetics or hormones). It is known that estrogen increases the body's defense against infections, and testosterone reduces the response of immune cells to viruses.

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Although the high prevalence of risky behavior among men (smoking, alcohol and psychoactive substances) significantly affects the decrease in life expectancy, this factor can not fully explain the advantages of women in comparison with non-smoking and non-drinking men, pious Mormons and Catholic monks. /

The results of the study confirmed the hypothesis that a high female survival rate has a fundamental biological basis. It is proved that even in the most severe conditions, women survive better than men. It happens at any age, including the infant, when social and behavioral differences are minimal.



It turns out that women live longer than men because they just know how to survive!


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