Chapter 12 & 13

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.

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3 Responses to Chapter 12 & 13

  1. Jasmine Fernandez says:

    Jessica, I agree that the Chapter 12 is vague and I wish the authors had included more tangible data for their conclusions to be more strongly supported, as opposed to them just stating them and expecting us as readers to believe them. I think stating the ideal number of people for your network would be a very useful statistic to include as well. I also agree with your interpretation of Chapter 13 and I found the question the end of the chapter proposes interesting too. I would imagine that this would be something that would affect my relationship with somebody as well, and I had not considered what you said about identifying better with a male if he is more on the feminine side. Although the book was written some time ago, I agree in that certain parts of it need to be rephrased or reworded.

  2. Neelamberi Klein says:

    I completely agree that the novel overall needs more detail, especially in chapter 12 when the entire idea of a large social group can be subjective (for a more reserved person a close social group of 5 could be a lot, whereas a more out going person could consider that a smaller group). I also agree that chapter 13’s information is pretty outdated, and I don’t feel confident in how they defined masculine and feminine to begin with. This chapter would probably look a lot different if it was conducted in modern society where gender roles are quite different.

  3. Maya Wright says:

    I do agree with you that the reading is very vague. The number of people in your network should definitely be specified because in previous chapters the book said that people who are too social do not live as long as those who have a proper balance. It is an also interesting question you bring up about whether a person perceiving their social network to be large will have an impact on their longevity. I also agree that the masculine and feminine study needs to be updated, but I wonder if a man was categorized as being feminine he would try to change his behaviors to act more masculine. I think the study needs to be updated to that those who identify as masculine through the study also identify as feminine for certain sections as well.

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