Friday, July 18, 2008

Why Women Live Longer And Are Happier Than Men

It is well reported that women do live longer than men, yet does this mean we live happier lives, and should we blame this on the bonds we have from carrying children? Researchers in the UK seem to think so.
The study at the University College in London took a close look at the lives of around 9,800 people, who are of retirement age or slightly younger, and found that those over the age of 50 and female, were more likely to have a positive outlook on life and were found to be enjoying their golden years far better than their male counterparts.

Yet the fact that you need to be female to be happy and have a longer existence weren't the only qualities which needed to be present - wealth was a strong factor in the way we live out the rest of our lives - those who were in the poorer communities could only expect to live a shorter time after 50 than those who either came from affluent areas or indeed had better jobs with equal retirement packages.

The main factor for a brighter future for the female over 50 appeared to be that they could relax and enjoy their twilight years simply because they needed not to look after their families any longer and take advantage of doing things for themselves instead for others. As many of us will have children in their adult years by the time we reach 50, we can slow down and do all the things we said we would want to do one day. Men, on the other hand work all their lives (well, most of them) and this continues well past the age of 50, thus disallowing time to spend on past time pursuits.

According to the co author of the study, Dr Elizabeth Breeze, the fact that women spend much of their adult lives caring for others who actually look forward to retirement rather than dread it, played an interesting part in their longevity.

She said,

"There is a difference between the way men and women view their quality of life and they are influenced by slightly different things. Women are affected negatively by caring for someone else or if they are not in employment but if they see their children and family more they are positively affected."

Those in the entertainment business seem to have their best years at work after the age of which many of us think about giving up work. Those looking fabulous and still loving life are Meryl Streep, 59, Helen Mirren, 62, and Judi Dench, 72. All of which have played their best characters in their more recent years than when, they were younger.

English actress, Helen Mirren said of the subject and who it related to the movie game,

"A weird thing happens to male actors, especially movie stars, in my experience. They become grumpy old men. A young male actor feels that all the girls want him - he's a star. As actors get older that sense of not being in control of their destiny grates on them and they get grumpy."

The study found fundamentally that out of all studied who were born before 1952, out of the poorest, they had double the chance of not seeing 2008, than those who were wealthy.

Perhaps what came as a surprise from the results of the study is that you are more likely to live longer if you are married. I wonder how many of us would agree with that statement - perhaps Elizabeth Taylor would have a thing to say on that issue.

Another fact that I must point out along with that statement is that you need also to have either a degree or have a professional career - my question is does this depend on either you or your partner? I guess it would make a difference...

For the original article,

mduffy 2008

picture from