Why Men Die First

book cover of why men die first by marianne j. legato

Why Men Die First – Book Notes

Reading time: ~3min.

The reasons:

  1. In men, the capacity to judge situations develops later than girls, at end of puberty at ~18-19 years old;
  2. Men are more impulsive, specially at the end of puberty which is when men top their testosterone levels;
  3. Men tend to have more feelings of invincibility, which also peak at the end of puberty;
  4. They are more easily convinced, specially at younger ages, to fight for ideals and to voluntarily do bravery acts for glory. Evolution favored this because this way there would always be warriors ready to give their lives for the group in order for it to survive;
  5. Men are more risk takers;
  6. They tend to overvalue their abilities more than women, which is one of the reasons why there are more men having car accidents than women;
  7. They tend to use more their physical capabilities and like to test their limits leading to more frequent potentially fatal injuries;
  8. Related to no. 5, is the fact that there are more men practicing sports than women. So even though it’s good for health, many times it’s accompanied by highly risky activities;
  9. Men have a higher degree of interest for things than for people and socializing;
  10. Men are usually worse academically – and therefore generally poorer, and so with higher chances of not having enough money to be healthy. Most of expelled students are boys;
  11. They are less likely to talk about/show their sentimental issues, be it by society’s pressure, or the traditional macho culture that would call them pussies or girls. This increases their will to have risk attitudes: there are 4 times more men suiciding than women. And this also increases physical illness as mental health heavily correlates with physical health;
  12. Not only do they hide sentimental issues, many times they feel the need to downplay health problems: to ignore symptoms or swallow pains so as not to appear weak to other men or as bad provider for the family;
  13. They have a higher chance of committing crimes: the majority of prison population is masculine;
  14. War is mostly frequented by men. And even if they don’t die there, it tends to result in psychological problems which may ultimately result in premature death;
  15. There are more men in life-risking jobs such as lifeguards, firemen, construction, cops, etc.

Men, testosterone and stress

  • Testosterone levels decrease when a man stays with a single woman (girlfriend/wife).
  • Testosterone promotes aggressive and dominant behavior in several mammals. Generally speaking, the more testosterone a prisoner has, the more aggressive was the crime he committed.
  • Testosterone increases before and after aggressive confrontations. Feminine cadets found sargents more sexy after an strenuous exercise session.

Stress promotes the production of stability hormones (cortisol, testosterone and inflammatory agents). This results in increased blood pressure and heart rate, dilated pupils, stopping of digestions, and blood redirection to muscles. The immune system gets highly alert as if they were warming up to fight infection from the wounds that they will sustain as part of the stress-causing agent. Nowadays stress-causing agents rarely cause physical wounds, which just shows how our body is working like it was programmed to do if we lived thousands of years ago in tribes. Men who are subject to prolonged stress agents run the risk that that increased blood pressure becomes permanent (hypertension) and to develop cardiac disturbances. Also they become chronically fatigued and depressed, as this heightened body-response was not made to be activated for sustained periods of time. It was basically like injecting nitro in a combustion engine. You have to let it cool down before using it again or it will burn.

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