-Sex differences in longevity are due to a combination of social, biological, and genetic
-Social Factors include health behaviors and attitudes, habits, lifestyles, and occupational
styles. For example, the major causes of death in the US include heart disease, lung cancer,
motor vehicle accidents, suicide, cirrhosis of the liver, and emphysema, are more likely to
affect men than woman. Such causes of death are associated with habits and lifestyles. For
example, lung cancer and heart disease are more likely to kill men because men have
historically been heavier smokers than women. Men also have fewer physical checkups tan
women, which reduces their opportunity for early medical treatment
- Stress at work influences the health and longevity of men and women
- Some cultural factors serve to promote health and longevity whereas others have
substantially negative effects
-Income level, educational level, and marital status are strongly associated with changes in
physical functioning for men. For women, control over health correlates strongly with
changes in physical functioning. This study suggested that older men stay healthier when
they are encouraged to participate in structured exercise programs, whereas older women
do better by keeping active and doing the things they enjoy
-Biological factors also influence sex differences in longevity
-Women in general have more resistance to infectious and degenerative diseases. For
instance estrogen production helps to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the
arteries). Further, the X chromosomes women carry may be linked with hormonal
mechanisms that produce more or better disease-fighting antibodies.
-Number of years an individual actually lives.
-The actual upper limit of the human life span has not changed much in recent years,
although more people have been approaching an advanced age or their particular limits.
-The average upper limit, or the maximum life span, refers to the chronological age that
average individuals could reach if they avoided or successfully managed the negative
consequences of diseases, illness, and accidents.
-An individual’s actual life span and health span are determined by an idiosyncratic
interplay between biogenetic and cultural factors.