Thread: Gender Roles
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Old 2012-05-31, 14:51   Link #54
Knight Errant
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 30
Originally Posted by mangamuscle View Post
I challenge that notion. As I said before, in most of humanity history the average lifespan was about 40 years. Is only in modern times that the average lifespan has increased (even doubled in some counties) to the point where diseases (or conditions) such as menopause or alzheimer have become common. But this coopeation between generations will come to an end in this century as research to prevent menopause will sooner or later move the menopause age further and further.
Well, walk into any tribal community and you'll see many people who are over the age of 40. While the average age of death was indeed about 40, you have to take into account a few things:

1. Infant mortality: the mortality rate for children below the age of 5 is obscenely high in tribal communities, this heavily skews numbers downwards.

2. It's only an average, many still live longer then 40

3. it's mostly men who die young, because men engage in the more risky activities in tribal communities. Aside from childbirth, women face few risks in the average tribal community.

In fact, in tribal societies, if you survive childhood, little is going to kill you. Tribal humans had few diseases (due to lack of domesticated animals) and the leading causes of death would be murder, killed by an animal, food poisoning and occasionally starvation.

If you survived to 40, you likely would be an "elder" and not need to engage in the riskier activities, so significant portions of the human population would have been elderly. Consider that words for grandmother and grandfather are universal in all human languages.
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