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32 Random Facts About . . .

Men

  1. In Old English, human men were referred to as wer, while the term man was used to describe humanity as a whole. During the thirteenth century, man gradually replaced wer as the term for an adult human male while also maintaining its use as an expression for the entire human species.c
  2. Worldwide, there are approximately 107 baby boys born for every 100 baby girls. Scientists believe the elevated birth rate in favor of boys may be linked to the higher mortality rates of boys in infancy and childhood.a
  3. Globally, boy babies are 25% more likely to die in infancy than girl babies.a
  4. Average height today for men in the U.S. is just over 5' 9" (175 cm) and average weight is approximately 190 pounds (86 kg). In 1960, average height for men was about 5' 8" (172 cm) and average weight was just over 166 pounds (75 kg).e
  5. Worldwide, men have a life expectancy of 64.52 years, as compared to a life expectancy of 68.76 years for women.e
  6. The most common cause of death for men in the U.S. is heart disease (the same as for women), and the average age of a first heart attack for men is just 66 years.e
  7. In the U.S., men have higher death rates for all of the 15 leading causes of death (with the exception of Alzheimer’s disease) and die more than five years younger than women.e
  8. male brain
    The brains of adult men are about 10% larger in total size than the brains of women
  9. The brains of adult men are about 10% larger in total size than the brains of women. Because men generally have a larger stature and more muscle mass than women, their brains require more neurons to control the body.a
  10. Scientists have discovered than men's and women’s brains actually function somewhat differently. When focused on a task, men tend to use only one side of their brain at a time, devoting all of their attention and concentration to the task at hand. Women, on the other hand, tend to use both sides of the brain at the same time, making them more adept at "multi-tasking.”a
  11. The word “boy” has been in recorded use since A.D. 1154 as a descriptive term for a male child. The exact etymology of the word is unclear, but it is believed to have descended from the Anglo-Saxon word boia, meaning “servant” or “farm worker.”c
  12. Boys typically experience puberty between the ages of 12 and 14, a time in which the voice changes to its lower timbre, growth spurts occur, and the secondary sex characteristics begin to develop. Puberty for boys generally occurs later than in girls of the same age group.e
  13. While both boys’ and girls’ voices will change during puberty, the change in a boy’s voice is dramatic, sometimes dropping a whole octave in tone. Males in other species develop a deeper voice to attract females and intimidate other males, and scientists believe the change in the male human voice evolved for the same reasons.a
  14. The “Adam’s apple,” or laryngeal prominence in the neck, is a feature primarily unique to adult men and is a result of the growth of the larynx during puberty. The term is derived from the Biblical account of Adam eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.c
  15. In most cultures throughout the world, boys historically experienced a rite of passage that marked their transition into the lives of adult men. Examples of traditional rites of passage include the Bar Mitzvah in Judaism, the “vision quest” in many American Indian tribes, and circumcision rites in many African cultures.f
  16. circumcision
    Worldwide, approximately one-third of men have been circumcised
  17. Approximately 56% of boy babies born in the U.S. are circumcised at birth, representing a decline of 20% since 1950. Worldwide, approximately one-third of men have been circumcised.e
  18. In terms of absolute size and in proportion to overall body mass, the human penis is longer and thicker than that of any other primate.e
  19. For approximately the first six weeks after conception, all human embryos develop as a default female child, primarily taking genetic information from the mother’s DNA. After the sixth week of development, if the embryo is male, the SRY gene on the Y chromosome will begin to produce androgens, primarily testosterone, that encourage the development of male characteristics and inhibit the further development of female characteristics.a
  20. The biological symbol for the male sex, a circle with a small arrow protruding from it, is also the symbol for the planet Mars. The two components of the symbol are designed to represent the shield and spear of Mars, the Roman god of war.a
  21. Boys are three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorders than girls. While experts do not yet have a solid answer for the obvious gender discrepancy, some believe that girls with mild autism may be better able to mask their symptoms and thus go undiagnosed.b
  22. Teenage boys are four times more likely than girls to drop out of school and represent more than 75% of the children referred to special education in the U.S.b
  23. Boys are approximately three times more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than girls are.b
  24. While men currently represent an even 50% of the U.S. workforce, they account for 94% of all on-the-job fatalities.d
  25. male nurses
    Prior to the 1900s, male nurses vastly outnumbered female nurses in almost every country
  26. Prior to the 1900s, male nurses were far more common than female nurses in nearly every country in the world. In current times, men now make up only 5.4% of registered nurses in the U.S. and only 13% of new nursing students in the now-female-dominated field.d
  27. Men are nearly three times more likely than women to abuse alcohol and twice as likely to abuse recreational drugs like marijuana and cocaine.a
  28. Higher levels of testosterone in boys and men generally cause greater levels of aggression, competition, self-assertion, and self-reliance than in women. In addition, the amygdala (the part of the brain involved in producing emotion) is typically larger in males, resulting in more aggressive, uncontrollable emotions.a
  29. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, men are four times more likely than women to be murdered and 10 times more likely to commit murder. Both female and male offenders are more likely to target male victims.h
  30. In nearly every country in the world, men are more than twice as likely to commit suicide than women. In some countries (such as Russia and Brazil), suicide rates among men are up to six times higher than those for women.e
  31. The average adult male has about 50% more muscle mass and 50% less body fat than the average adult female.a
  32. Of the more than 151 million men currently living in the U.S., approximately 64.3 million are fathers.g
  33. The word “dad” entered the English language in the sixteenth century and is believed to have originated from the Welsh word tad, meaning father. The word “father” comes from the Old English term faeder and was first used in the 1500s.c
  34. According to a 2008 estimate, there are approximately 140,000 stay-at-home fathers in the U.S. who are the primary caretakers for their children while their wives work outside the home.g
  35. The first Father’s Day celebration in the U.S. was held on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington, and was conceived of by Sondra Dodd. After listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909, Dodd wished to have a day of recognition for her father as well. Father’s Day became a nationally celebrated holiday in 1972 when the third Sunday in June was designated by public law as a day of recognition for fathers.g

-- Posted June 11, 2009

References

a Barash, David P. and Judith Eve Lipton. 2001. Gender Gap: The Biology of Male-Female Differences. Transaction Publishers.

b Kipnis, Aaron. 1999. Angry Young Men: How Parents, Teachers, and Counselors Can Help Bad Boys Become Good Men. Jossey-Bass.

c Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. s.v. “man.”

d Reskin, Barbara F. and Irene Padavic. 2002. Women and Men at Work. Sage Publications.

e Simon, Harvey B. 2004. The Harvard Medical School Guide to Men's Health: Lessons from the Harvard Men's Health Studies. Free Press.

f Stephenson, Bret. 2006. From Boys to Men: Spiritual Rites of Passage in an Indulgent Age. Inner Traditions International, Limited.

g U.S. Census Bureau. 2009. “Father’s Day: June 21, 2009.” Accessed: April 13, 2009.

h U.S Department of Justice. 2005. “Homicide Trends in the U.S.” Accessed: May 21, 2009.