I have been thinking on why Nigerian men die much earlier than women. Men, on average, die earlier than women. It must be noted that men’s behavior plays a huge role in why they tend to die earlier. Some men who endorse and conform to traditional masculine beliefs have higher mortality rates. These beliefs include avoiding all things that look feminine, suppressing the expression of emotions, dominance, extreme self-reliance and toughness.
These traditional men place a great deal of importance on sexuality and tend to have negative attitudes toward sexual minorities. The norms of masculinity are something every boy and man in our society has to contend with because they are out there, they are promoted. Recently, I had a discussion with a female friend, Oluwakemi Famugbode, on why Nigerian men die earlier than women, and she pointed out some reasons. I will talk about them and expantiate.
- Fornication and adultery:
Generally, men cheat on their partners more than women. They have more sex. Sex requires a lot of energy. You’ll be expected to jump up and down on a pussy. You’ll drill and dig and thrust and sweat. You’ll get tired. I have seen men die while having sex. They enjoy the pleasure and fun that comes with the pussy. They forget to take cognisance of their health. And they die early. This is one of the reasons Nigerian men die before their women. So, you can see, it is not always the women who are killing men. It is men who are killing themselves because of their excessive love for the pussy.
- Striving to provide for their family:
Stress and the need to provide financially for the nuclear and extended family is another reason Nigerian men die before women. Men may need to work to take care of their wives and children. They will pay house rent. Pay for electricity. They may need to send something to their siblings, parents, and even in-laws. Another thing is that some Nigerian women spend their earnings on clothes, bags and make-up. They don’t consider helping their men in taking charge of the bills. They believe it is the responsibility of the men to take care of the family. They make their own money, yet they collect more money from their husbands to spend on trivial things. At the end, the burden becomes too much for the men to bear. They become overloaded with responsibilities. And then, they die.
I have always said it that women are stronger than men in some areas. This can be seen in how women multitask. It is so easy for them. The average man cannot multitask like a woman. A woman can be cooking, answering a phone call, and even breastfeeding a baby at the same time. They find it easy. And there won’t be any mistake. Men cannot do this. Men always concentrate on a single task. They like to focus attention on a single task until it is completed. When it happens that men are no longer able to meet up with financial requests from their family, the multitasking jobs weigh them down and kill them faster.
- Ego and pride:
Many men are too proud to cry. So, they bottle up emotions and die of depression. They always believe that a man shouldn’t show pain. That a man shouldn’t cry. That a man shouldn’t ask for help. Pride and ego are the reasons most Nigerian men feel that they should not be caught laughing or crying in public. Nigerian men have been taught by the society to bottle up their emotions. Then, later, they explode like bombs. They lash out these emotions through physical abilities. This is the reason why there is so much domestic violence. We always deceive ourselves by saying ‘men don’t cry’. We don’t realize we are killing ourselves gradually. Nigerian parents need to remind their male children that it is okay for men to cry. When you bottle emotions too much, you kill yourself. You fall into depression and die. Most people commit suicide because they feel it is a sign of weakness for men to express emotions. This is bad for us.
- Heavy jobs and risk taking:
Many men do more brain tasking and physical jobs than women. They also take more risks. According to Shervin Assari, testosterone puts men at risk biologically, but it also puts men at risk behaviorally. It increases aggressiveness, and, in a cascading effect, results in higher death rate from accidents and homicide. Women systematically overestimate risk of any type, while men consistently underestimate it. Accidents, like motor vehicle crashes, are far more common among men than women. This is due in part to men’s greater risk-taking, underestimation of risk, sensation-seeking, and tendency to be more impulsive.
Another thing is that men don’t pay attention to their health. They overlook things. They rarely visit the doctor to know what is happening in their bodies. Some men are also involved in the overuse of drugs and too much consumption of alcohol. These things go a long way to reduce their life expectancy. African men need to have a change of lifestyle. They need to reevaluate. They need to communicate. They need to open up about their problems. This will help them to live longer.