If you’re like most guys, you are probably pretty into being male. You can read a map, do lots of push-ups and don’t bleed with the full moon. What could be better than that? And yet, as it turns out, being a man is becoming less awesome with every passing day. A growing pile of research indicates men are falling behind women in a number of key areas. One upside? The next time your girl talks about how she has it tough, you’re going to be armed with a number of facts showing that, in fact, she doesn’t. Silver lining, gents. Silver lining.
1. They Survive More Accidents
Bad news, dudes. The testosterone that makes you male also totally screws you when it comes to major trauma. A Johns Hopkins study of over 48,000 patients who experienced major blood loss after an accident found that men were 14 percent less likely to survive than women were. Further studies found that this isn’t just the case for human males. Male mice also had lower survival rates after major trauma than female mice did. The rodent researchers did find one quick, easy way to level the playing field with females: castration. So there’s that.
2. They Invest More Wisely
This might be hard to believe given which gender is more likely to drop a hundy on a haircut, but women are smarter with money than men are. A study of 35,000 households found men trade 45 percent more than women do—and trading reduces their returns by nearly three percent. Women, meanwhile, lose about half as much. Elaine Bedel, president of Bedel Investments of Indianapolis, reasons men dig in their heels more, meaning that they hang on to losing stocks longer than they should. In other words, your loyalty to RadioShack is going to land you in the poor house. It’s science.
3. They’re Getting Better Looking
Yes, Olivia Wilde dated Salman Rushdie. Don’t you read Us Weekly?
Here’s one area where it’s good to fall behind: women are getting hotter while men are staying about the same. The logic is that pretty women are more likely to reproduce, leading to better-looking ladies everywhere. Researchers at the University of Helsinki found that attractive women had 16 percent more children than less attractive ones. The same doesn’t apply to men, because women aren’t as shallow. You know how “sense of humor” tops every poll about what women want? Some future study may show men are getting funnier. No evidence exists showing men are getting better looking. Do you care? Neither do we. Bring on the Kate Upton Universe.
4. They’re Making More Money
Not only have women largely reached wage parity, younger ones actually make more than men do. Out of America’s 150 largest cities, single women under 30 earn more in 147, at an average of 8 percent, than their male counterparts. In Memphis and Atlanta they earn 20 percent more. And it’s not just wages. Women weather downturns better, too. Of the six million Americans to lose their jobs between the end of 2007 and mid-2009, about 80 percent were men. That’s because the fields seeing the biggest downsizing—manufacturing, engineering, construction and finance—tend to be male-dominated, while more women work in “recession-proof” fields like education and nursing. Our advice? Accept it as the new normal and marry well. Women have been doing it for centuries.
5. They’re Healthier
Women have seemingly always lived longer than men. But that’s not all these days. For example, they also eat healthier: a University of Minnesota study found that about 20 percent of women eat fast food once a week, while about a third of men do. But that’s small potatoes compared to research showing they have better immune systems and are less likely to develop cancer. Dr. Claude Libert of Belgium’s Ghent University believes there are RNA properties of the X chromosome that help prevent illness and help fight off infection, and women have two while we are stuck with just one X and an apparently useless Y. Remember this the next time you need to call in sick. Just tell ’em you’ve come down with the man-flu.
6. They Learn More
Here’s a legit reason women might be earning more than men these days: they dominate college campuses. Not only do they make up 58 percent of all college students, they’re twice as likely to have graduated by the age of 22 than men are. They get better grades, too: at Harvard, 55 percent of female students graduate with honors, compared to just half of male grads. Which just leaves us asking a very serious question: why doesn’t someone commission a study to see who does longer keg stands and plays better ultimate? Are you listening, academia?
7. They Handle Stress Better
You know what’s relaxing? Winning the gender war.
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that women and men handle stress differently. But you might be shocked to learn that women, science says, handle it much better than you do. One reason is that men lean more toward “fight or flight” behaviors while women do something called “tend and befriend.” Or, in layman’s terms, “talk it out over a tube of cookie dough.” Furthermore, women experiencing stress use naturally produced oxytocin to get over it. Men opt for high blood pressure, alcoholism and getting all aggro in other dudes’ faces. But hey, we’ll take totally losing our cool over a good cry and a Lifetime movie any day.