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Men pay with their lives for women!

Not a recent trend, it originates from our evolutionary history, say scientists. Does male aggression impress women?

india Updated: May 11, 2006 18:53 IST

Researchers at the University of Michigan claim that persistent male quest to impress their female counterparts cause them to die earlier than females.

Males compete aggressively for female attention and that costs them a part of their lifespan.

"Women live longer in almost every country, and the sex difference in lifespan has been recognised since at least the mid-18th century," said Daniel J Kruger, a research scientist in the U-M School of Public Health and the Institute for Social Research. "It isn't a recent trend; it originates from our deep evolutionary history."

"This whole pattern is a result of sexual selection and the roles that males and females play in reproduction," Kruger said.

"Females generally invest more in offspring than males and are more limited in offspring quantity, thus males typically compete with each other to attract and retain female partners," he added.

Kruger and co-author Randolph Nesse say the difference in life expectancy stems from the biological imperative of attracting mates and involves chimpanzees and other species.

In earlier times human males had to wrestle each other to get a woman, it is similar to the current situation where in the peer pressure to succeed sexually has not changed much.

The rivalry takes a toll, weakening male immune systems and human males belonging to lower socio-economic levels tend to have higher mortality rates compared to their higher-status peers.

Females still bear the greatest burden of raising a family and giving birth, hence they remain very choosy in selecting a mate.

Therefore to impress women, men remain prone to risky behaviour like smoking, reckless driving and violence, just as they have been for millennia and just as other male animals are.

"Men compete for resources and social status, which are criteria men are valued for in mate selection," LiveScience quoted Kruger as saying.

Another study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, had similar conclusions.

It cited "excessive risk taking, aggression and the suppression of emotions by boys and young men" as being directly related to lower life expectancy in men.”

The study was published in the spring edition of the journal Human Nature.