Men lose 20 Million years of life in a decade

November 3, 2010

A recent article in the Times of India titled, “Steadily falling infant deaths show a sudden rise in ’09” talked of rising infant deaths in the Mumbai city for the year 2009. The article had some interesting observations to offer. The figures that came out in the article are given below for ready reference.

S. No. Gender Total Births Total Deaths %age
1 Male 91,355 3,128 3.42
2 Female 83,943 2,738 3.26
3 Both (Total) 1,75,298 5,866 3.35

Some interesting observations,

  1. 1. Male infant deaths are 0.07% higher over the total average.
  2. Female infant deaths are 0.09% lower over the total average.
  3. Male infant deaths are 0.16% higher above female infant deaths on a pro-rated basis.

Taking into account an ideal scenario, if a woman lives for 100 years, the man will live 100 – 0.16 = 99.84 years. However, actual life expectancy of women (on average) is 67 years, which means men’s average life expectancy should have been 67 – 0.0016*67 = 66.9 years. But, the actual life expectancy of men is 62 years. Simply put, men are losing 4.9 years of life per man per year. Taking into account the 88 K odd male children that make it after birth, men are cumulatively losing 432,312 life-years per year. Hence, in a decade, approximately 4.3 million-years of life have been lost by men in the city of Mumbai alone.

Taking the trends of urban lifestyles, the pressures therein, and extrapolating the data over 5 metros, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore close to 20 million years of life has been lost by men in a decade. This is a massive degradation of the male gender, sociologically and biologically as well because this massive erosion will be carried over genes and would lead to irrecoverable damage for future males, if we do not recognize this danger now and take steps to save our men.

Recently the DNA carried an article, “One married man commits suicide in every 9 minutes”. When this article was posted on the internet, most of the people passed it off as either something unimportant or made fun of it and worst some called the men (who committed suicides) as shameless in comments. This data point reflects a very sorry state of affairs – men are disposable for the society – and any attempt to create awareness about the problems faced by men draws flak.

This is just an indicative evidence of the lack of a proper communication channel for men in the society – a communication channel that does not invalidate their concerns and one that does not justify their problems. If dead men are facing so much flak, one can only imagine the apathy of living men. This lack of communication channel, coupled with the fact that men are emotionally castrated right from the tender age of 6 and discouraged from expressing their emotions, feelings and pains, tantamount to a lot of social stress for men. This social stress takes a lot of toll on men and this has severely reduced the life-expectancy for men as corroborated by the data above.

As the data above suggests, during birth, the natural fragility of males is not very higher than females – it is only 0.16% higher. But by the time of natural death, the fragility of males shoots up to 7.5% accounting to a difference of 4.9 years of life per man per year cumulatively leading to a very severe and damaging loss of 20 million years of life for men in five cities of India – Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore.

Such a severe loss of life for men needs to be studied properly and for that the Government needs to form a National Commission for Men – that can study issues of men and a Men’s Welfare Ministry – that can implement the recommendations made by the National Commission for Men based on their studies.

Lastly I would like to end this article with a question to the readers.

Is this heavy loss of life of men acceptable to us or is there a dying necessity for a change in our attitudes towards men to compensate for this loss?

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