Chapter 12 helps the reader develop an understanding the importance of a social network in relation to life longevity. In the chapter about religion, we saw that the social benefits of religion were more likely to be related to having a longer life than faith itself. In this chapter, it reiterates a similar idea except that quantity matters. Having a larger social network is correlated with longer lives while feeling secure in your relationship only makes you feel better. In addition, pets are not good substitutes for human friends. While I do agree with the chapter’s content, the reading continues to be vague. For example, it never really specified the ideal number for people in your network…shouldn’t that be important? If you are going to report a finding stating that a larger social network is related to longevity, shouldn’t you give a range of how many people you’d want in your life? Or is it just the perception of the individual that matters? In other words, will the individual have a higher chance at longevity if they perceive their network to be large?
Chapter 13 states that more feminine women AND men show to live longer lives when compared to masculine men and women. This may be due to gender roles and one’s smoking and financial responsibilities. Furthermore, feminine women/men may be more likely to tell others about their problems, allowing them to cope with stress. Gender roles also may lead men to live shorter lives since their wives aren’t reminding them of healthy behaviors or having a broken heart. At the end of the chapter, the reading poses a great question: does it matter if your significant other is masculine or feminine as well? In my opinion, it does. For example, if my partner is a feminine man, I’d imagine that there would be more reciprocal communication between us versus a masculine man. While I do think this is an interesting question, it needs to be reworded to match today’s society where people do not identify or report having strictly feminine and masculine traits.