Are men an endangered species?

Highlining in Yosemite
Highlining in Yosemite. Is this what’s killing us? (Courtesy: wikipedia)

How come men don’t live as long as women? Is it because they do things like big wave surfing, base jumping in squirrel suits or highlining between buildings? Maybe we have a testosterone-fueled, Evil Knievel gene within us, right next to the air guitar and channel surfing genes, and are simply destined to break 433 bones, just like he did. Jeez, I hope not.

Men Are Different

David Page, the father of the Y chromosome, thinks that this male-specific pile of genetic information, the smallest of all the chromosomes, could have something to do with it. Maybe there’s enough of a genomic difference between men and women that they handle similar diseases differently in addition to having different diseases. Who knows? Glad this concept exists, though, as it kinda rescues us from the daredevil-gene-theory of men’s shorter lives.

Wellness, What’s That?

But the facts of the case are no better laid out than in the accompanying infographic from Georgetown University School of Nursing. The health disparities between U.S. men and women are clear and apparent when examining leading causes of death, substance abuse patterns, and lifestyle decisions (which incorporates typical male risk-taking behavior). We’re falling behind guys, and we need a plan.

But keep reading, as they also lay out a game plan for preventative care for men with age. This path to wellness directly addresses my oft-stated concern that men are medically underserved and it empowers men to do something about it. So, start by printing this and put it on the fridge so that you know exactly what to do to allow you to grow both old and wise, and not just wise. Instead of leaping tall buildings, here’s a way to leap into longevity. Realize that the longer that you are around, the more of a difference you’ll make. In the words of Eleanor Brown: “You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

Cross posted from

Brought to you by Nursing@Georgetown: Family Nurse Practitioner Program.


Dr. Paul Turek, Medical Contributor

View posts by Dr. Paul Turek, Medical Contributor
Dr. Paul Turek is an internationally known thought leader in men’s reproductive and sexual health care and research. A fellowship trained, board-certified physician by the American Board of Urology (ABU), he has received numerous honors and awards for his work and is an active member in professional associations worldwide. His recent lectures, publications and book titles can be found in his curriculum vitae.
Scroll to top