Thread: Gender Roles
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Old 2012-05-31, 12:51   Link #48
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: CH aka Chocaholic Heaven
Age: 35
Regarding the fact that men are more prone to engaging in risky behaviors, and are more easily considered expendables compared to the lives of women, I'd say it's a compensation mechanism.
Remember that women do have their own, specific, risky behavior: reproduction (STDs aside). Even tough it is nowaday heavily medicalized, women still risk their lives by engaging in child bearing.

It reminds me of this joke:
"Great Love: 16th Century expression, a time when a women's life expectation was about 30 years"

A women's reproductive prime is more or less her twenties, even tough starting at age 12-14 used to be common, it carries risks depending on wether she had sufficiently matured. Similarly, other will hit menopause in their late fifties, but still, after 30, child bearing carries additional risks, with greater chances of complications or malformations, and much lower chances of sucess overall.
So, with about 10 years of reproductive prime, many girls dying at their first delivery, and 2 out of 10 children surviving out of infancy being a good prospect, do the math and you'll see that it was a very tough business to just sustain the population level.

Given the amount of women to be expended simply to cope with our species biology, of course men would be the ones to be spent on dealing with the environment, wilderness and competing groups.

Now, of course many things have changed, but child bearing is still a risky business (more so as it gets delayed in our advanced societies), so yeah, egalitarianism aside, men are to be considered expandable. I'll admit that the increase of women shunning motherhood do pose a new variable in the equation (sacrificed or not, single men die younger).
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