[LMB] Men and Women (circling back to topic)

Tony Zbaraschuk tonyz at eskimo.com
Fri Mar 6 19:54:59 GMT 2009


On Fri, Mar 06, 2009 at 11:40:12AM -0800, Judy R Johnson wrote:
> Tony:
> > Where are you getting the idea that "hardly any women lived long 
> > enough to be post-menopausal"?   
> 
> NEW - JRJ>I admit pre-history is not something I'm right up to date on, but 
> unless some new evidence has come up, pre-dental/medical cultures did not 
> feature long lifespans.  Menopause is usually in a woman's 50s, so only a 
> lucky few would live that long and likely would be arthritic and otherwise 
> not fighting fit if they did.  

I hope you're not confusing "average lifespan of 35" with "nobody lives
past 35" -- pre-modern human deathrates are a bimodal distribution,
with a lot of infants dying young of various diseases, and a lot of
humans living to adulthood.

> Have I already mentioned Dr. Brace, my 1970s Physical Anthropology 
> professor?  He said they found so many skulls where dental abcesses were 
> the obvious cause of death that it was 'way out of proportion.  He asked 
> how many in the lecture hall of about 200 young sutdents had never had a 
> cavity, and only about 20 raised their hands.  Of course, sometimes the 
> tooth falls out, end of problem, but often enough the abcess penetrates the 
> brain and kills you.  Last I heard, pre-history lifespan was about 30 on 
> average, from other causes as well as that, but still.

"Average" is a tricky term; you want to read "How to Lie With Statistics" :)


Tony Z

-- 
In the theater of memory every play is an improve
Stored bits remade from piles of scattered stuff --
Yet the taste of the first kiss remains so real.



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