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.