Thread: Gender Roles
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Old 2012-05-31, 15:03   Link #55
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: CH aka Chocaholic Heaven
Age: 35
Originally Posted by mangamuscle View Post
Don't get it out of scope, back then men lived on average to the age of 40. Even a hundread years ago the average lifespan in europe was about 60. No doubt women had the least favorable part of the "bargain", eating less food and doing more work (most generations of women lived without even dreaming someday their will be a cloth washing machine) and having smaller frames (height) to cope with this living environment.
At that time averages were meaningless, for more than half died before reaching age 2, and only a fraction surved childhood.

I was obviously talking about this tiny fraction which were able to enter adulthood. So if we remove all the dead children, a substantial number of adult men would live past 50 even in the middle ages.
For the women, much less, for all those who survived into adulthood, a lot would at one point die in childbirth, before her thirties.

Edit: DonQuigleone beat me to it

Regarding infant mortality, its only with the advent of vaccination and antibiotics that it was effectively curbed to the current levels. Only a century ago, it was a common occurence to lose several children even in the West.

I might as well add another saying:
"In Africa, each time an elder die, a library is burning"

In this respect, survival of adults past the reproductive prime has been discussed as an evolutionary trait, as it allows the preservation and transmission of knowledge.
Aside from being bedtime stories or saga tellers, in most cultures the elders are the one who transmit their respective skills and knowledge to the young ones.

Last edited by JMvS; 2012-05-31 at 15:18.
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