It's not uncommon for most to believe that men are the stronger sex. However, women are biologically stronger than men and hence tend to outlive their male counterparts. And hence, this new study is challenging the pre-conceived notion that the female sex is weaker. The findings showed that women do not just outlive men in normal times, but they are also more likely to survive epidemics and famines.
Women's increased life expectancy is because they tend to have a survival advantage in infancy rather than adulthood. In times of adversity, newborn girls are more likely to survive than newborn boys. However, even when mortality showed high for both sexes, women still lived longer than men by six months to almost four years. "Our results add another piece to the puzzle of gender differences in survival," said researchers led by Virginia Zarulli, assistant professor at the Duke University in Durham, US.
The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the team analyzed mortality data going back roughly 250 years for people whose lives were cut short by famine, disease or other misfortunes. The data spanned seven populations in which the life expectancy for one or both sexes was a dismal 20 years or less and found that newborn girls are stronger than newborn boys due biological factors.