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Thread: Death rates on the rise for middle aged white women, decreasing for men

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Death rates on the rise for middle aged white women, decreasing for men

    Nice statistical analysis of a recent paper finding that death rates have been rising for middle aged white women.

    http://andrewgelman.com/2015/11/10/d...asing-for-men/

    I think it's probably tobacco related. Maybe younger women face more peer pressure to quit, and older women didn't do it as much because it wasn't considered ladylike. Or maybe the drug use and binge drinking (and promiscuous sexual behavior) of so many younger women will also catch up with them.

    I know I've seen studies in the past that all these things have a proportionally more adverse effect on women than men.

    It's such utter stupidity in my view. Being equal with men doesn't mean we should adopt all their idiotic behaviors.


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    I'm not sure, but it could be something else. Women are having fewer children, take more medications, commit suicide in higher rate these days, engage more in dangerous sports. Could be something else as well.
    The world is changing fast now and even social scientists can't put a handle on causes and effects, especially if the trend is minimal.
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    1 members found this post helpful.
    I see that the increasing death rate affects mostly women under 50 years old, i.e. those born from 1965 onward (until about 1980 as far as we can tell at the moment). This corresponds more or less to the generation born during the counterculture movement of the 1960s (hippies, liberalization of sex and drugs). Interestingly this generation of women are also the one who grew up with the progressive empowerment of women at work, especially since the 1990's, which means that they are also the first generation of women who more often than not went to college and worked full-time like men. Many of these women may have come to prioritize their career over their family life, and suffered higher stress from their competitive careers than previous generations of home makers (all the more if they have to juggle a full-time work with taking care of the kids).

    There are surely man factors in the equation, but it is undeniable that a lot of things changed for (White) Western women from that generation. Hispanic women are more traditional and are more likely to be stay-at-home mums. Black Americans have a much higher unemployment rate, and a higher employment would anyway translate first in increased longevity as many of them drew themselves out of poverty since the 1960's.
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    It seems that the increase in death rates is in white, uneducated, white women who are smokers. The two biggest correlations were in fact smoking behavior and lack of employment outside the home.

    http://prospect.org/article/whats-ki...or-white-women

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