[Paleopsych] Newswise: Patriarchal Attitudes, Practices and Discrepancy in Life Expectancy
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Wed Sep 21 22:25:35 UTC 2005
Patriarchal Attitudes, Practices and Discrepancy in Life Expectancy
Source: British Medical Journal
Released: Tue 13-Sep-2005, 12:50 ET
Embargo expired: Wed 14-Sep-2005, 18:05 ET
Systematic male dominance - patriarchy - explains half the discrepancy
in life expectancy between the sexes, suggests research.
JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY AND COMMUNITY HEALTH
[Is patriarchy the source of men's higher mortality? J Epidemiol
Community Health 2005; 59: 873-6]
Newswise -- Systematic male dominance - patriarchy - explains half the
discrepancy in life expectancy between the sexes, suggests research
spanning four continents in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community
The researchers base their findings on a comparison of the rates of
female murders and male death rates from all causes in 51 countries
across Europe, Australasia, Asia, North and South America.
Rates of violence against women are used to indicate the extent of
societal male dominance over women, otherwise known as patriarchy.
The wealth of a country, as indicated by the Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) per head of the population, was also taken into consideration,
as socioeconomic factors are strongly linked to health.
The results showed that women lived longer than men in every single
country included in the study, with murder rates among both sexes and
GDP strongly linked to death rates in men.
GDP accounted for 13.6% of the variation in death rates among men. But
this was nowhere near as high as the female murder rates, which
accounted for 48.8% of the variation in death rates among men. Male
murder rates accounted for just 3.5%.
The higher the rate of female murders, and therefore the greater the
level of patriarchy, the higher were the death rates among men and
therefore the shorter their life expectancy, the figures showed.
"Our data suggest that oppression and exploitation harm the oppressors
as well as those they oppress," conclude the authors, adding that the
higher death rate among men, and hence their shorter life expectancy,
is "a preventable social condition, which can potentially be tackled
through global social policy."
They cite the way that children and young people are currently
socialised into patriarchal gender roles, such as those emphasising
excessive risk taking, aggression, and the suppression of emotions by
boys and young men, as examples that need to be tackled.
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Journal web site: http://jech.bmjjournals.com/
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