Friday, October 09, 2009

D is for Die (Like a Man)

Today’s statistical foray is into the field of 'Survivorship'. One key way that we measure the relative treatment and condition of the different races is by their relative survivorship over time – how quickly they die off as opposed to the average, and as compared to other races. Black men, for instance, are about 1/3rd less likely to make it to age 80 than white men, and that indicates to us that black men are doing about 33% less well in our society than white men.

And the same logic reasonably applies to the differential in survival rates between men and women – a black male is 50% less likely than a white woman to make it to age 80, and about 35% less likely than a black woman to achieve that age.

And it isn’t about race as much as it is about sex. Life expectancy at birth for black women has uniformly exceeded that of both white men and black men since at least the 1970s. More than your race, your sex determines when you will die.

And the problem doesn’t start at the end of life, or even at age 80. Somehow disparities in being able to care for and raise males start in the very beginning of life. Already at age one, per the survival tables, we have 240 less males per 100,000 than we do white women. Apparently there is something it about white girl babies that their odds of living are just higher. Like, maybe we take care of them better. Oh you may say “That’s just boy babies – they die more.” But if they do, shouldn’t we do something about it? And can you imagine saying something like that about girl babies? 240 out of 100,000 may not seem like a lot, but extrapolate that out to our current population of about 300,000,000, and you find that almost 400,000 of today’s potential males are missing because they died in their first year – males that perhaps could have still been around if we could take care of them as good as we do white girl-babies.

And by the time we get to the 20 year-olds, that number has almost doubled – with about 720,000 missing young men, men who might be around if we socialized and cared for our males the way we do women. But there’s more. Now we are getting into the work, marriage and divorce years. Men are getting married and then divorced, most often not by choice, and find themselves destitute, emasculated, enslaved and financially destroyed, and are also taking jobs that put their lives and health at risk - and the numbers start shooting up. By the time US men hit 45, more than 2.7 milion of them are missing. Dead. 2.7 million men in their mid 40s are dead who would be alive today if we could just do as good a job keeping them alive as we do women.

And it keeps on going up. Without going into detailed age distributions, it can be estimated that over 10 million men have died who might still be around today at age 80 – if only we could have taken as good care of them as we do women.

But instead we hear about ‘breast cancer’ and ‘ovarian cancer’ and ‘women’s heart disease’ and all manner of women’s ailments, and even more tellingly, our media is full of stories about women feeling ‘unfulfilled’ and ‘unhappy’ with their roles in life, and taking weeks and months off to renew themselves.

Few and far between are the organizations raising awareness for men’s concerns – suicide, men’s heart disease, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, penile cancer, male breast cancer, workplace hazards and the like. Where are the stories in the media about men taking months off to renew themselves after half a life of wage slavery? There aren’t many, and you won’t find Oprah, Oxygen or HGTV financing a men’s month off to get rejuvenated either. You gotta earn the money and go do it yourself.

So in case you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s a woman’s world.

Welcome to the Gynocracy

My Best To You In Your Struggles


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(Data used for calculations in this article is from the CDC’s December 2007 National Vital Statistics Report, Vol 56, No 5 United States Life Tables, 2004 by Elizabeth Arias, PHD, and also from the historical statistical abstracts of census data maintained by the US Census Bureau)


Anonymous said...

It's not just the high-risk jobs that are killing men off either. I've lost count of the number of executives and middle-managers who have dropped dead while at work. Why?

My guess: probably something to do with that 'wage-gap' thing. Women earn less because they're not as tied to jobs as men - and that more comfortable, lower stress life-style means they live healthier. I can't recall a single case of a woman dropping dead at work.

The Japanese have a word for dying from over-work. It's an exclusively male fate - and we're not talking coal-miners and fishermen here. They mean office workers.

MisAnDrope said...

I worked in the high-pressure corporate world, and I know what you are talking about. These guys fly overnight here and there, stay up to the wee hours building powerpoints and networking, drink and smoke too much to keep themsevles sane and active, and then do full days of meetings after that - and if you can't keep up, you are fired, out. There are reasons why men like this burn out or kill themselves in this world.

I have to do a post about the 'grass eaters' of Japan who have rejected this sometime soon. Interesting stuff.