Over the years, medical scientists have suggested that women live longer than men with researches showing a survival advantage for females in all reviews. Researches have also been carried out toward unraveling the cause of this riddle.
Two researchers, Stephen Austad and Katherine Fischer, both of the University of Alabama, U.S., in a piece published on June 14, 2016, held that humans are “the only specie in which one sex is known to have ubiquitous survival advantage.’’
It said that the sex difference in longevity might be one of the most robust features of human biology.
Other scientists have written on this riddle with some arguing that women live longer because they have two ‘X’ chromosomes which ensure a back-up when a genetic mutation occurs in one of the genes, while men have only one ‘X’ chromosome and, thus, without such back-up.
In developing nations like Nigeria, however, men are believed to die quicker because of societal pressure.
In the populous African nation, men are seen as more likely to be hit by high blood pressure, stroke and related illnesses because they shoulder the burden of catering for the families. The pressure multiplies after marriage as wives’ relations queue in for attention.
But, as humanity ponders over the reasons behind the lifespan riddle, scientists have continued to inquire into how men can equal, or even surpass, women in longevity. One such scientist often mentioned is Dr Karen Weatherby, a German.
Weatherby, in an article said to have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine some years ago, claimed that staring at a woman’s breasts is healthy and elongates the life span of men.
The study, said to have been carried out over a period of five years, reportedly involved 500 men, half of whom were instructed to stare at women’s breasts in a lustful manner for no less than 10 minutes every day.
The other half were instructed to abstain from doing such.
It concluded that men, who stared at breasts, showed lower rates of heart problems, fewer instances of coronary artery diseases and lower blood pressure, which enabled a healthy living and long life.
The study suggested that men should stare at breasts for 10 minutes a day to improve the wellness of their hearts and live longer.
“Just 10 minutes of staring at the charms of a well-endowed female every day is roughly equivalent to a 30-minute aerobics work-out,” the study claimed.
It concluded that sexual excitement gets the heart pumping and improves blood circulation, while gazing at breasts made men healthier, cutting the risk of stroke and heart attack by half.
“We believe that by doing so consistently, the average man can extend his life for four to five years,’’ the study stated.
Another study by Mark Eis, a professor of homeophatic medicine at Naple University, made similar claims with the researcher declaring that staring at women’s boobs could increase a man’s life expectancy by four to six years.
Eis claimed that he came up with the hypothesis after noticing how relaxed he felt when his wife got naked.
But, while the claims appear controversial, though popular, especially among men, Michael Stang, a science journalist based in Germany, has debunked it.
“There is no scientific research or papers to back the claims. It is a hoax and obviously a very unsuccessful one,’’ Stang snapped.
Snope, a fact-checking website launched in 1994, has also debunked the claims.
“This has to be one of the ultimate male fantasies sequel to the notion that drinking beer and watching football makes one more intelligent,’’ it said in 2000.
Mrs. Kemi Ogedengbe, a Nigerian psychologist, has also dismissed the claims, and wondered how it found its way back into the international media after it was reportedly disowned by the German professor said to be behind it.
She declared that there is no nexus between staring at a woman’s breast and longevity.
Mr Alex Abutu, a Nigerian science journalist, who shares Ogedegbe’s stance, has particularly faulted the tools used in the said research.
“The research claims that 500 men were used for the study. That is too small for a study of such magnitude.
“Again, I have found that the study was not subjected to any peer review process. My conclusion is that it may just be the researcher’s own personal attitude and expectations that he presented as a study.
“While one cannot condemn him, it is important to establish his motive before analysing his claims. There are armchair researchers the science world must be wary of,’’ he said.
But for Mrs. Binta Meshela, an Abuja-based Midwife, the study may have some positives.
“Staring at a woman’s breast creates a positive mindset in men. A study in 2012, in the Archives of Internal Medicine, revealed that after a year, positive thinking improved heart health and high blood pressure.’’
She, however, warned that such claims should not become any excuse to belittle and harass a woman.
“They better go find cute animals to stare at! Sometimes, I have to check to see if my button is out just because of the way men stare,” she fumed.
Dr Michael Abam, a senior lecturer and Dean of Students Affairs, Western Delta University, said that he had a good laugh when he read the article on the said research.
“I was taken aback when I read that article. I think it is purely the psychological effect it may have on a man.
“The relaxing effect that comes from staring at something pleasurable calms down nerves, reduces stress and enacts a possible futuristic hope of grabbing the breasts someday if one remains alive,’’ he explained.
Abam said that whereas some men reduce stress by sniffing women undies, some prefer to stare at busty females to help release that calming hormones in men.
“The anticipation of holding unto a breast or having sex with these endowed women invariably helps the men folks, with hearts pumping faster, blood circulating better, arteries opening up, a pleasant glint appearing in the eyes and a sweet watery saliva in the mouths.
“All these point to the fact that men’s relax mode is activated on seeing the breasts. Blood pressure is invariably reduced leading to a relatively elongated life,” he argued.
Mr Frank Tietie, Executive Director, Citizens Advocacy and Social Economic Rights (CASER), has, however, described the claim as “a scientific question that requires a scientific answer’’.
“The hypothesis is not sincere; it is an attempt at subtle justification of an overwhelming natural indulgence among men.
“Most men admire women’s breasts and, often, whenever they have the opportunity, they secretly stare at them because of the natural curvy sex appeal
“The secrecy of the indulgence of staring at the female breasts creates a sense of guilt in most men,’’ he said.
According to him, purveying the idea is simply a way of assuaging the inexplicable guilty feelings men have when engaged in that secret exercise.
“Popularising such an idea is simply to normalise an indulgence which fuels male sexual fantasy and adventure,” he argued.
On his part, Malam Usman Akintola, a Muslim cleric and member, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), says that men were created and wired by God to be moved by the sight of beautiful woman.
“This is just natural. When men talk about the very most important things and see a beautiful woman, perhaps with boobs and well-shaped back, they pause and look, and continue with their discussions afterwards.
“I must tell you from experience that minutes before an intimate moment with a woman you desire or love, your heart beats so fast, opens the arteries and keeps a healthy flow of blood.
“Why? That is what motivates the man and keeps him at alert physically. So much happens and that’s how God made it.
“Men are wired to behold beautiful women. If the sight is bad, he is not moved. But what happens in his heart is what makes him happy and that happiness adds to his age,” he said.
For Rev Fr Daniel Ihunnia, Registrar, National Missionary Seminary of St. Paul, Gwagwalada, the research was not surprising because of the scientific and new sociological discoveries that had ensured a broad understanding of human nature.
Nonetheless, he insisted that the link between staring at women’s breasts and longevity is questionable.
“How did the researchers isolate these aspects of human interaction?
“The consequence will be the ravaging of women, who are already culturally subjugated in a place like Nigeria. This means that the sociological effect will be dehumanising to both genders.
“Yet, no reasonable person can dismiss the claim as absolutely wrong. It is an evidence-based research conclusion, in spite of how bizarre it may sound.
“The claims are funny, but exciting to those inclined more to the erotic.’’
Mr Adamu Kabiru, a Social Studies teacher, says that the study must be subjected to further scientific checks, but is convinced that many men get fulfilled staring at a woman’s breasts.
“That gives men joy; once a man has joy, he has rest which can extend his life span,” he said.
Arguing in the same vein, Ms Grace Abaku, a biologist, said that many men derive pleasure in staring at a woman’s breast, adding that such sight reduces a man’s ability to think by 50 per cent.
“Research has found that looking at a woman’s naked breasts for 10 minutes is equivalent to 30 minutes of exercise. So, this study may have some element of reliability,’’ she said.
Dr Dauda Adekunle, an obstetrician, said that a woman’s breast meant so many things, adding that the researchers knew what they were looking for, to arrive at such a conclusion.
“A woman’s breast make men happy and happiness is the key to unlocking a man’s full potential.
“I read a scientific research where men with coronary heart diseases, who immersed themselves in positive thinking, especially about a nice pair of breast, were more likely to exercise for their health.
“Similarly, men with high blood pressure were also more likely to follow their medication plan when they thought positively, as opposed to men who didn’t think positively, or in other words, didn’t think about breasts often enough,” he said.
Adekunle said that women were aware of the importance of their breast which was why most of them go for breast implants.
He advised women intending to go for breast implants because of a man’s lifespan not to do that because with or without a breast augmentation, all types of breasts are important to men, including the sagging variant.
Analysts say that the debate over the nexus between a woman’s breast and man’s longevity may last forever, but agree on one indisputable fact – the woman’s breast will always play a key role in the life of a man either as a life-giving nutrient at infancy, or a source of ultimate pleasure when fondled in adulthood.