If you do not want to read all of this entry, then nevertheless do yourself the favour of getting a good belly-laugh by watching comedian Alan King’s Survived by his wife (thanks to Allan Chinnery for that link).
Last Saturday Ruth and I went to the celebration of her aunt Jenny’s 100th birthday. Aunt Jenny survived her husband by 33 years. He had passed away in 1977, at age 71.
All of that anecdotal evidence would not stand up in a court of law, but the following excerpt from the website of Fathers for Life shows that the anecdotal evidence of women’s longer lives is well supported by objective data from official sources.
(It took me a while to decide to assign this article to the category “Humour”. Still it is funny, and humour is the more funny the more it relates to the truth. There is a lot of truth in this story, so you may as well read the rest of the truth relating to this. Maybe you, too, will find it to be at least somewhat funny that men die so much sooner than women, yet women are considered to be victims in need of protection. That is worth having a laugh over, isn’t it?)
Differences in the life expectancies of the sexes in various countries in the world
This page contains statistics on the life expectancies of the sexes in various countries in the world. The statistics shown on this page are a bit dated, from the late 1990s, if I remember right, but I am getting a little tired and will not update them with more recent data. You can perform that little exercise by yourself and will find that the gender-gap in the life-expectancies of the sexes has widened a little more since that time.
Certainly, life expectancies since then increased for both men and women, but more so for women. So what is the problem with that? There is not much of a problem, at least not one that men complain about. After all, who can argue with the truth? The truth will set us free, as the saying goes, but when the truth is inconvenient, it could become a problem, such as when the shorter average life-expectancies of men in the majority of the nations in the world must be presented in such a way as to show that men’s earlier deaths are a serious inconvenience to women’s quality of life when women reach the end of their days.
That is a truth, too, that from that perspective must be presented as a serious impediment to women’s happiness, such as in Women: Victims of Men’s Shorter Life Span (off-site). Of course, rather than to look at this from such a biased but politically-correct perspective, one could look at the gender-gap in the life-expectancies of the sexes in a more objective fashion and simply state that the gender-gap exists, and that it favours women. As comedian Alan King showed in 1987, in Survived by his wife, the truth about the gender-gap in life-expectancies can be made to look very funny, even hilarious (what could be a better reason for making a joke than to make fun of death?). Still, as Alan King illustrated in his presentation, telling the truth and nothing but the truth about such matters is likely to have the consequence that an elected official calls the truth-teller a male, chauvinist pig. That is a good thing, too, as thereby any possible complaints by men about having to die so much sooner than women can be nipped in the bud.
With the exception of seven countries (Nepal, Bangladesh, Malawi, Niger, Namibia, Bhutan and Afghanistan), in all other countries listed in Table B women live longer than do men, in some countries by a considerable margin.
Life Expectancy is not the only measure of quality of life. The UN has since 1990 annually published a Human Development Index that ranks countries’ quality of life by a combination of indicators, such as life expectancy, availability of schooling (but not the quality of schooling), the GDP, availability of health care (but not the quality of health care) and more. The UN Human Development Index has shortcomings that have been addressed by the Fraser Institute in a more realistic alternative to the UN Human Development Index.
An additional indicator that should be used by the UN as well as by the Fraser Institute to measure the quality of life in a given nation is a measure of how happy people in a nation are with the quality of lives. Suicide rates are a very good indicator that can be be used for that. It surely can be no accident that the rankings of nations according to life-expectancies very closely matches that according to suicide rates.
By both of these measures, life expectancies as well as suicide rates, men’s lives are almost exclusively in all nations far worse than those of women’s.
The average of the differences in life expectancies for the sexes in the countries listed in Table B is 5.09 years (by which the life expectancy of men is less than that of the women in a given country). Turkey is the country in which the difference in the life expectancies of the sexes is closest to the average of all countries.
Russia leads the list with the greatest difference in the life expectancies of the sexes (12.89 years less for men), followed almost exclusively by formerly communist countries countries in which affirmative action for women made the largest advances for the longest intervals.
Afghanistan is the country that has the largest difference in favour of the average life expectancy of men over women (one year).
Almost all of the developed nations have differences in the average life expectancies that are on average slightly above the average for all countries. See Table A for details….(See all of the web page)