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Machismo may explain why men’s lives are shorter than women’s

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A new survey is reporting that the more macho a man is, the more likely he is to resist preventive health measures like prostate exams.

That helps explain, researchers say, why US women currently average 5 years more of life, to age 80, than men do. The researchers speculate that especially macho men don’t like taking advice from anyone else, even a doc.

If the data hold up, I wonder if there isn’t a less psychological, more human explanation. We all secretly believe we’re immortal–at least until hair-raising experience teaches each of us that death isn’t going to make a special exception in our own case. Some of us are forced to learn that hard lesson sooner than others. Maybe men whose ideal is the tough guy are able to hang on to the fantasy longer than most.

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