A Study Shows That Women Are More Likely to Survive an Epidemic Than Men


Last Updated on 2020-11-23 , 10:50 am

In this day and age where the wave of feminism is at its peak; women rights have come a long way.

From Iceland making it illegal to pay men more than women to celebrities donning black outfits during the Golden Globes to support the movement “Time’s Up” which fights against sexual harassment, the word “woman” carries weight and it takes centre stage in today’s political climate—just look at the number of female politicians now.

With that said, do you know that according to the study by Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists of the United States of America, women are more likely to survive an epidemic compared to their male counterparts?

The study analysed seven different populations from various eras that went through famine, slavery and epidemics.

With the exception of the plantation slaves in Trinidad and Liberian slaves, the rest of the case studies showed that women outlived men.


It seems like women can last longer when it comes to lack of food.


The life expectancy of men and women during the Ukrainian famine was 41.58 years and 45.93 years respectively.

The Swedish famine ravaged the country from 1772 to 1773, from crop failures to abnormal conditions, their life expectancy plummeted—do take note that the life expectancy was ridiculously low because of harsh conditions—to 17.5 years old for males and 18.79 for females.

Potatoes are to Irish as rice is to Singaporeans, so when Ireland was faced with potato blight, their population took a big hit.

Their life expectancy dropped from 38 years for both sexes before the famine to 18.7 years for men and 22.4 years for women.


Even when it comes to diseases, women persevered—Icelandic women in particular.

When measles broke out in Iceland in 1846 and 1882, both times, women outlived the men.

The life expectancy for men and women in 1846 was 17.86 years and 18.82 years respectively, and in 1822 it was 16.76 years for men and 18.83 years for women.

It is worth to mention that the mortality rates for girls were higher when they were babies (as compared to the boys), ergo their life expectancy was slightly higher

So what about now?

The study also mentioned that behavioural factors have been identified as important determinants of the male-female survival difference in contemporary populations, so vices like smoking and alcohol are taken into account.

Before the meninist in you comes out, this is a study based on conditions that might almost seem dystopian, so don’t go and challenge your girlfriend in a lifting competition.

Though, girls, feel free to show your boyfriends or husbands this article.

Featured Image: Luis Molinero / Shutterstock.com

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