Chapters 12 & 13

I didn’t really find it that surprising that those who had a larger social network lived longer. This wasn’t very surprising to me because it makes a lot of sense, people who have many social relationships are able to help others and seek help in times of need. It is interesting that social relations are the first place to look for improving health and longevity. Unlike most of the chapters in the book, the topic of this chapter is easily fixable. What I mean by this is that if someone is not necessarily a social person they are not stuck with this disposition, they can easily make meet more people and become more social. I wish the book had different ways to look at sociability rather than it being self reported. I feel like there may be some error in self report, considering that people may think they are more social than they actually are. Another interesting statement in this chapter was that playing with pets isn’t associated with longer life. Many people think that playing with pets is beneficial to longevity because playing with pets can help to relieve stress, however playing with pets does not have a long term longevity affect. Overall, I thought this chapter was slightly contradictory to the previous chapters because researchers found that being social can also be bad for your health because it can lead to riskier behaviors.

Chapter 13 was one of my favorite chapters in the book so far. It was very interesting that the more masculine men and more masculine women had an increased mortality risk, while the more feminine women and the more feminine men were relatively protected. I liked how the researchers split participants up into 4 groups rather than just by biological sex. I do think that the survey they used to determine masculinity and femininity could have been better, because it seemed like the survey was a bit subjective to gender stereotypes associated with different jobs. It did make sense that feminine women and feminine men were less likely to die from all causes because they are ready to admit they need help. I also liked how the chapter also tied in points from the previous chapter, the women and less masculine men were able to establish and maintain deeper social connections, which often saved their lives. It is amazing to me how powerful social connections are because just helping another person or having someone who supports you can easily increase longevity.

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2 Responses to Chapters 12 & 13

  1. Natalie Szumel says:

    I liked your comment that these sociability were self-reported findings, and they might be biased because I didn’t even think about that. There have been times in my life when I have felt like such an introvert, but when I tell my friends, they couldn’t disagree more. Conditions like depression and anxiety can really cloud the way individuals see their social network, so I feel like the self-reported figures could really impact the results of this study. That being said, I was equally impressed with the findings. In high school one of my professors would always say that humans are social creatures, and this chapter just really did a nice job of emphasizing that statement.

  2. Alexis Russell says:

    I agreed with your comment on the way the researchers determined whether someone was more masculine or feminine. It seemed to me that those who were “feminine” were just ones that conformed with the stereotypes that surround the woman being in the home and the man working with his hands. I think, as far as the current century exists, it seems outdated. I mow my lawn at home and help my dad with his car, but I also love to cook and bake. Does that mean I’m more masculine? As well as, my dad would be considered very masculine but “This Is Us” brings on the waterworks. Does that mean that he’s feminine? I think it’s a very narrow way to determine whether someone is feminine or masculine and therefore, the data cannot be taken as seriously as the researchers would have liked.

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