Science has come to the very unpolitically correct conclusion that the reason women usually outlive men is because men have defective DNA that affects both their fertility and longevity, making them the weaker of the two sexes.
The Daily Mail is reporting on a paper that is being presented this week at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’s annual conference in Lisbon. Authored by geneticist Neil Gemmell of the University of Otago in New Zealand, it draws on a decade of research which found that certain types of mitochondrial DNA caused infertility and truncated lifespans in males but had ‘utterly no effect’ on females. This defective DNA, which is bad for the heart, brain, muscle health and energy levels, is inherited solely from their mothers.
“I call it ‘mother’s curse’,” says Gemmell.
The defective mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on by mothers to their children, only effects male children in an adverse way while female offspring escape all harm from it.
“It’s an irony, or a gross evolutionary injustice, I don’t know which, that male fertility is held to ransom by a female-inherited molecule,” Gemmell said. “In general mitochondrial DNA will be exquisitely adapted for its role in females, while its role in males will likely be less ideal, leading to fitness consequences for males. Perhaps think of mitochondrial DNA being well-tailored for females, but less than flattering for males because it wasn’t cut for them.”
This results in men living, on average, three to four years less than women.
Gemmell’s conclusion may leave some guys a bit piqued: “Men definitely are the weaker sex.”
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