I was not surprised to read in chapter 12 that those with larger social networks lived longer, as this aligns with my own thoughts and opinions as well as with other pieces of the Terman study, particularly the religiosity portion. Additionally the finding that those who reached out and helped others (rather than just passively or indirectly having a large social network) had better longevity was not surprising to me either because not only does reaching out and being there for others provide one with a sense of fulfillment, the way in which it manifests (e.g. workout/diet groups, religious groups, people who reciprocate the care and comfort you provide to them, etc.) reasonably would lead to longer life.
I am not off put by the findings of chapter 12, as I would consider myself somewhat of a social butterfly. Additionally I feel my family and close friends all have decent social circles and considering the authors declared, “social relations should be the first place to look for improving health and longevity,” I would say we are all in pretty good standing.
With regards to chapter 13, I have normalized the fact that women live longer than men, but I too am just as curious as to why? The way the Terman study went about it was using a Masculinity-Femininity scale, which I found interesting—but the findings made sense. Those higher in femininity (more so females than men) lived longer because they, on average, had less risky lifestyles (e.g. less smoking, less drinking, “safer” jobs, etc.). I scored a -4. If you ask me, that just confirms I’m an emotionally intelligent, non-overly-masculine-fragile, male social butterfly. I like sports but HGTV and Say Yes to the Dress are my jams (thanks, mom); also, I am not too stubborn to go to the doctor and look out for myself at times when I may be alone. But for anyone out there reading this, just remember, you’re never truly alone).