1 Jul 2017

Why women live longer than men

From This Way Up, 12:50 pm on 1 July 2017

In New Zealand, the average life expectancy for a male born last year is 91 years, but a woman born in 2016 can expect to live to 93. Why is that?

Ageing gracefully

Photo: (Lotte Meijer via Unsplash)

Looking back over the historic records it's clear that women can expect to live longer than men and that fact is reflected at the outer limits of human longevity.

Angela Saini

Angela Saini Photo: (Supplied)

Of all the people around the world who have lived to 110 years of age and beyond the vast majority (90-plus percent) are women. 

But, again, why?

Science journalist Angela Saini tries to answer these questions in her new book Inferior.

"There is no biological commandment that says women are natural homemakers and unnatural hunters, or that hands-on fathers are breaking some eternal code of the sexes" - Angela Saini in 'Inferior'