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After they categorized their findings by age group, they also discovered infant mortality rates are lower among women. “Newborn girls are hardier than newborn boys,” the authors wrote.
While the scientists noted the gender gap couldn’t be fully explained by behavioral or social differences between sexes, they believe biological factors could play a key role.
“The female advantage in times of crisis may be largely due to biological factors such as genetics or hormones,” they said. “Estrogens, for example, have been shown to enhance the body’s immune defenses against infectious disease. ... Our results add another piece to the puzzle of gender differences in survival.”
Want to learn more about the findings? Take a look at the full analysis, published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.
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