We’ve all grown up thinking that boys are stronger and tougher. But according to a recent Scientific American story, basic biological weaknesses are built into the males of our species, and these frailties leave them more vulnerable than girls to environmental pollutants.
So are men the weaker sex?
Did you know that boys are more than two-thirds more likely than girls to be born prematurely. And, despite advances in public health, boys in the 1970s faced a 30 percent higher chance of death by their first birthday than girls; in contrast, back in the 1750s, they were 10 per cent more likely than girls to die so early in their lives.
Once they make it to childhood, they are also more prone to a range of neurological disorders. Autism is notoriously higher in boys than girls: nearly five times higher. They are more susceptible than girls to damage from very low-level exposure to lead. Yet another problem: Boys also suffer from asthma at higher rates. There’s also a stronger link between air pollution and autism in boys.
Why do boys face these challenges when we don’t? The problems start in the womb with their more complicated fetal development, their genetic makeup, and how their hormones work.
This doesn’t mean the end of men. But it does mean that their vulnerability to environmental contaminants and diseases could have serious ramifications for our future. Maybe it’s You can read the rest of the story here.