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Boys will be Boys?

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Boys will be Boys?

We all know that the average life expectancy of your garden-variety man is about five years less than the female. By being a little more proactive about your health and politely reminding your inner bad boy to grow up, you might be well on your way to outliving us ladies!

We all know that the average life expectancy of your garden-variety man is about five years less than the female. We all know about the risks of heart disease, cancer, and stroke, and what steps men (and women) can take to help prevent these diseases.

What we don’t think about as often are the leading causes of death in young men. Statistics Canada gently refers to these as unintentional injuries, a catchall term that includes motor vehicle accidents, drowning, sports accidents, drug- and alcohol-related deaths, workplace accidents, homicide, and other deaths by misadventure. Deaths for men in this category are nearly double that of women and represent the fourth largest killer of men overall.

From an early age, boys tend to play a little more forcefully than most girls. It’s expected that they’ll take their fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, and that expectation continues into adulthood. Men are encouraged to go out for rougher sports, to perform more physically demanding jobs, to drive fast, and party hard.

It’s a cruel irony that the very things that make a male the most “alpha” and earn respect from his peers are the very things that could kill him. Street racing, fighting, drinking, and drugs may impress a bunch of teenagers, but they won’t help you live any longer.

I can confess to falling prey to the allure of “bad boys” in my youth. The bad boy is appealing to women because he gets to do all the things that we girls were told not to. Women get tired of being constantly reminded to look out for their own safety and that of others. The bad boy offers us the chance to live vicariously through his actions. Sure, we might get nervous when he behaves recklessly, but it’s still a thrill to be by his side while he does it. Danger can be the ultimate thrill ride for a young woman who longs to feel free.

But there comes a time when bad boys need to grow up, lest they turn into bad men–or wind up dead. Playing fast and loose with your health is a gamble that costs more with each passing year. It’s not very “alpha” to drive slower, wear a helmet, or care about workplace safety, but it’s also not very cool to be a perpetual adolescent. What to do? Maybe it’s time to take a tip or two from the “good girls” and start looking out for your own well-being. Trust me, we know all about this one! Why do you think we keep trying to make you see the dentist?

We all have to go sometime, but what’s the rush? By being a little more proactive about your health and politely reminding your inner bad boy to grow up, you might be well on your way to outliving us ladies!

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