Forget your lean testosterone-driven alpha male.
It’s the men with love handles, slightly overweight,who live longer, are better at passing on their genes – and are more attractive to the opposite sex! A recent study of women in Latvia confirmed that such men are more sexually attractive than lean men.
It’s a mystery why men remain fertile for so long after they have passed their reproductive and physical peaks.
Richard Bribiescas, anthropology professor at Yale University thinks he knows the answer. In his book “How Men Age” he sets out a theory about pudgy dads which suggests that the slow ebbing of male sex hormones after the late teens is the key to longevity not just for men but also for women.
Most men become slightly fatter after fatherhood and find it increasingly difficult to build muscles as their testosterone declines. this however prolongs their lives and strengthens their immune system. It may even leave them less vulnerable to her attacks and prostate cancer.
It also means middle-aged fathers are less likely to chase other women and more likely to invest time in their children.
One study in the US found that men who burnt up more energy when at rest were 50% more likely to die than those with a slower metabolism.
Bribiescas says “macho makes you sick“. While men are larger and physically stronger than women they have a big weakness. They find it harder to fight off infections and illnesses compared to women and this impacts on the rate at which men age.
On the other hand motherhood in almost all cases shortens a women’s lifespan. A study in Poland found that the more children you had the more aged you looked (no surprise there surely) and that the more children you have the earlier you die.