How Well You Age, Based on Your Gender

· March 11, 2019
We all want to age well. Do women and men age differently? Here's how you age based on gender, lifestyle, and biological factors.

Have you ever wondered if you age differently based on whether you are male or female?  Some say that women age well and that the years are less noticeable on them because they begin taking care of themselves earlier. Meanwhile, there are others who believe that men show fewer signs of aging over time.

In today’s article, we’ll tell you how you age according to your gender. In addition, we will talk about how you age biologically and based on your lifestyle.

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How You Age, According to Gender

Everyone knows that the years will go by regardless of whether you’re male or female. However, getting older is different for both groups.

In the case of men, they’ve been told since they were young that they need to remain active to provide for their family and also to maintain their stamina.

That’s why many men might feel and look well while they’re still working. However, once they retire, some become sick and start to age all at once.

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Elderly couple embracing and looking how you age

How You Age: Women vs. Men

For women, the situation is completely different. They live longer, they know how to adapt better to life’s changes, and many don’t mind staying home once they retire.

Why? Because although they have worked all their lives, when they were younger they were taught to perform the function of housewife, mother, or caregiver.

This can allow them to retire from a work environment and stay in good health until a more advanced age.

Another thing to keep in mind is that women are typically more active and accustomed to socializing. Women often have friends from childhood and when they’re alone (as widows or when the children leave home), they meet up with others in the same situation.

Younger looking beautiful woman and older man you age

Gender Roles and Societal Pressure Affect How You Age

The way women are educated has given them better survival mechanisms to seek solutions to their problems, from the most basic to the most complicated.

If you combine this with the fact that women typically take better care of themselves, go to the doctor more frequently, and prepare healthier foods, it can explain why they live longer or feel better during old age.

On the other hand, many men typically don’t take care of themselves as well.

They only consult with a doctor once the pain is unbearable or incapacitating. Additionally, many men resist making healthy dietary choices or talking about their illnesses and problems.

This is related to the societal concept of masculinity and courage.

How Men and Women Age Biologically

Elderly couple outside trees green park

As for physical aspects, women produce a hormone that helps motivate them, as they must take care of their children. This also leads to more preventative behavior in relation to their health.

Pregnancy is a determining factor in the female aging process. The quality of your pregnancies and births can change your life in the future.

If during pregnancy, for example, you don’t maintain a healthy diet or have proper medical care (especially in developing countries), you’ll notice this in old age.

Living Conditions and Ethnicity

You can also relate the way you age to your ethnic group or the place where you were born or live.

A Caucasian man or woman who spends their entire life in a developed country will age differently and potentially live longer than an indigenous person from Mexico, for example.

Aside from ethnicity, the type and quantity of work you do can have a major impact on how well you age.

The working class of Latin America and Asia performs much more arduous activities for long hours a day. Additionally, that is true for both men and women. Both groups must work hard to provide food and shelter.

When they reach old age, diseases and other health problems are more common while medical care may not be as available.

How You Age Aesthetically

Both genders undergo distinctive changes in their physical characteristics, and that happens worldwide.

Although social and aesthetic factors have a lot to do with the way you age, you also have to remember other factors such as:

  • The type and quantity of work you do
  • Prevention of disease
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Hormonal changes

Women will undergo more changes than men after menopause. When a woman’s menstrual cycle is in the process of finishing for good, hot flashes can appear. They can happen even in the middle of winter. Additionally, a menopausal woman’s libido is reduced, and more.

Men also go through certain hormonal adjustments, but they’re more gradual and therefore less evident.

When testosterone levels begin to decrease, they can gain weight and suffer from sleep disorders or erectile dysfunction. However, men never lose their ability to reproduce.

Skin and Hair

As for the skin, men have thicker skin that wrinkles less (or later on).

Aside from the biological condition of their skin, women are also under the demand of the image of beauty that’s imposed by society.

This can lead them to take better care of their appearance, but also to worry more. Worrying to often lead to more wrinkles or more fatigued skin.

Finally, when it comes to hair, women have a small advantage. Although the strands become thinner or may have a dull appearance, men’s hair will fall out more easily. Similarly, gray hair appears earlier in men.

How you age not only depends on your gender, but also on where you live. Furthermore, you may age better if you don’t have to work as much, you’re less stressed, and you follow a healthy diet.

Remember that exercise and diet are very important for preventing disease and ensuring that you age well.

  • Lamb, S. (2000). White saris and sweet mangoes: Aging, gender, and body in North India. Univ of California Press.