Belinda Brown: The good die young – pity so many are men

On the 23rd of February this year four demolition contractors, Michael Collings  aged 53, Ken Cresswell 57, Chris Huxtable 34, and John Shaw 61 were killed when the building they were working on collapsed on top of them. These men were likely to have been working to support their families. They sacrificed their lives for others and for their work.

The bodies of the men have still not been recovered. Doing so has required feats of engineering and it was only this weekend that contractors  were able to demolish the rest of the building so that they can embark on the excavation work.

The fact is that had those killed been women there would have outrage. Questions would have been asked about liability. We would have been told that the women had been treated as if they were expendable. The lives of men would have been risked to recover the bodies of the women. And so on.

Feminists whinge on a global scale about their absence in the corridors of power. Men remain silent about their far greater likelihood of death.

It is not just that men die younger than women. It is that at every single age group (except for the over 80s by which time they are already dead) men are more likely to die than women.

This is not because men are biologically programmed to die earlier. Male longevity is determined by socio-economic position and women have a more favourable socio-economic position to men.

So what are the causes of the excess of male deaths? In addition to accidents at work, many more men die of work-related asbestos disease. Men appear to be almost entirely responsible for the massive transportation of goods so fatalities here  also need to be included in work-related deaths. Men are much more likely to be victims of homicide, both by strangers and where the perpetrator is known to the victim. They are more likely to die of cancer. They are more likely to die of heart disease. By now we all know they are three to four times more likely to commit suicide. What is perhaps less well known is that they are also much more likely to make up the vast majority of drug and alcohol related deaths.

To really understand the excess of male deaths would require significant research into health care spending, gender differences in childcare, consequences of family break up, social networks and quality of life differences. But feminists are in charge of funding bodies and they are busy maximising women’s access to valued resources. This includes money, power, children and wealth. So the research that we need to work towards an equitable system, is, for the moment, unlikely to be done.

(Image: Tom Hodgkinson)

Belinda Brown

  • Shaunr19

    Thanks Belinda. From a bloke.

  • Craig Martin

    Thank you. From another bloke.

  • Colkitto03

    If the present situation in cancer outcomes was reversed then you could be sure there would be outrage. Men get cancer more and once they have it they are considerably more likely to die. There is no feminist outrage about this. Indeed many prominent female MPs and journalists actively object to events such as international men day which promote men’s health issues.

    Feminism is so utterly unrepresentative of woman as a whole. I took part in Movemeber last year and actually I got more sponsorships and higher value contributions from women, for a charity that aims to benefit men only.
    As Belinda says it is the establishment that abide this situation with men’s health.Its another example of our leaders promoting their favourite causes and not those of ordinary men and women.

    • Mez

      There’s actually a significant amount of research and private sector money being spent on male cancer cures. What needs the focus is the high risk activity ..a lot of which is life style related, that raises the risk of cancer in the first place. What is genetic is actually very small, it’s mostly about lifestyle. Even drinking milk, or a diet which revolves around red and processed meat..like bacon.

      • Colkitto03

        Yes, and there needs to be more focus on men getting to Doctors earlier.
        The present TV campaign here in the UK regarding prostate cancer is excellent and is being supported by being part of a prolonged campaign. The sad thing is it should have started 20 years ago, but better late than never.

        • RingedPlover

          As I understand it there are probably millions of males in this country over a certain age (say 50 plus?) with a form of prostate cancer although in the vast majority of cases they will probably die of something else. I am not familiar with the ‘TV Campaign’.

      • Belinda Brown

        I have recently been hearing that genetics is very important. But I would agree lifestyle is also extremely important but then you need to start looking at all the social issues which cause men to not look after themselves. I suspect where men feel that others are depending on them they are more likely to take care of themselves.

        • My current understanding is that many people can carry the genes for a predisposition to cancer, but it still needs an external/environmental/behavioural trigger for those genes to be expressed. Just carrying the gene makes increases your chances.

          • Groan

            Quite so. One of the areas that is not really taken up in public discourse is the role of work and work places. Even the most cursory glance at the stats shows the dire effect of the past “heavy” industries on the men who worked in them. Perhaps there is a reticence to make more of this to avoid claims or whatever. In plastics, construction, chemicals and pharmaceuticals there are well researched cancer risks but little stomach to highlight them. The effect even if not the intent is we still treat men as disposable or replaceable parts.

        • Mez

          We all produce cancer cells every day, just mutations in cell development which tend to increase with old age, but our immune systems when healthy dispose of them .
          The problem is about healthy immune systems, in some cases that’s genetically faulty, but also we can compromise our immune systems ourselves from our environment and what we eat. The more toxicity the body has to deal with the increased likelihood of mutations developing, or not being disposed of.
          There’s a sector of US biotech , with a focus on immunity in oncology, each corp often spending $30m plus per year trying to develop proteins for immunotherapy and improving the response to drugs.

      • Menaregood

        In 2013, Cancer Research spent £33m on breast cancer research and £17m on prostate cancer research. Incidences of each type of cancer are similar, 53k for breast cancer and 47k for prostate cancer in 2013. There may well be valid reasons for the different spends, I quote the numbers for the sake of discussion.

        • Mez

          Is cancer research the only institution spending money?, there are others including charities set up to do nothing other than research male cancers. What about all the drug companies?, capitalism has ever turned down a viable opportunity to make money. In fact because it’s already been televised in the UK, dogs are being trained which can sniff out male cancer from pee, reducing the time it takes to spot it, and increasing effectiveness of treatment. You’ll find if you look into it, that developments around male cancer have happened, but there are issues created by whether or not men are prepared to risk surgery,..and delay in which cancer is diagnosed owing to late reporting.

          • Groan

            And in Public health the late reporting is known to be associated with the greater difficulty men generally find in accessing health services, most notably GPs. Though sporadic the projects taking screening and health services to male workplaces have consistently shown great outcomes. Personally I know of a series of great projects working with Taxi Drivers.
            One problem is that health professionals tend to be comfortable with office environments and are reluctant to go into factories,building sites, haulage yards etc. All areas where really great results have been shown to be achievable. It is obvious that as men still spend much of their waking life at work it is a huge part of “lifestyle”.

    • One of the most fascinating aspects to cancer research for me is breast cancer. A cancer which cases have steadily increased over the years; It has received large amounts of media awareness and research funding compared to DETECT it but very little is mentioned of the CAUSE.

      A look on Cancer Research UK website though does offer a glimps of what factors increase likelihood of contracted it. One is the contraceptive pill and the other is late motherhood.

      So perhaps the reason why little is said about the cause is because it goes entirely against the current cultural revolution of “free love” and “have it all” career women.

      • Colkitto03

        Very interesting, I never nknew this. As you say its easy to see why it might be underreported.

        • Groan

          Having worked in the NHS the likely unpopularity of making clear the “lifestyle” associations with forms of breast cancer is precisely why proper public health campaigns are not commissioned. Similarly with fertility, you may recall the furore when a Consultant simply relayed the biological facts. There is a great deal that people can do to increase fertility through “lifestyle” yet even the idea that the facts be shared in advice to students doing sex ed caused the usual “storm”. Men and women are mammals not Gods however we try to believe the latter.

      • Mez

        It’s probably the link between early start sexual relationships and late motherhood, ie total amount of time spent on the pill from teens to mid forties or maybe later. For women abstinence costs nothing other than social quedos, and is far healthier, reducing the need/expanse of time for hormone based contraception. Later or fewer relationships, ..are also more likely (for women that is), to end in lasting relationships.

      • klm

        Very good point!

  • SeriouslyChristian

    Thank you Belinda from another bloke!

  • James Chilton

    I agree with the sentiments expressed in this article. Men are more expendable than women according to the social “philosophy” of the day.

    One quibble: the four men killed by the collapse of a building last week, did not “sacrifice their lives”. They died in an accident. Who was to blame for their deaths remains to be investigated.

  • Mez

    A good part of this issue is I think the traditional notion that testosterone is disposable. Outrage that women should consider the front line..(terrible death for a woman inside a modern tank someone said), but few seem to give much thought to male flesh doing the exact same thing. I read a thought provoking article several months ago which suggests the MOD does much of its youth recruitment among the young from broken or single parent homes, what does that say about the MOD, and foreign policy?.
    So there is the disposable testosterone issue, and then there’s the “high risk” testosterone issue. Since men have historically held the majority of jobs in civil engineering etc, they’ve participated in the group think which creates the higher risk environments that can lead to death at work. A high oestrogen level doesn’t have the same effect.
    Working on any industrial building site these days is a risky business, but ..higher risk carries higher wages. For men who haven’t been academic achievers, yet want to try to keep mothers at home, (with hormones which detract from raised risk), common sense suggests those kind of jobs are going to be attractive and top of the list, which does nothing to change anything. It’s an area that socially would benefit from robotics, and then you have the income issue.

    • Phil R

      When I was young. I needed capital. The easiest way to get it was high risk. I took a job in Africa. It turned out to be very high risk and very high pay.

      I needed the money because women like men with money. How many women would choose looks over wallet if the difference in looks were small?

      • Groan

        It is so frequently found in social research to be an established fact that women prioritise the resources in deciding on how attractive a male is and men qualities of health and beauty. Not at all surprising given pairing behaviours. Of course a modern result is a “man shortage” , which is really a shortage of males able to offer greater resources to well paid women. I don’t think there is something to be done about this, other than to be honest about it.

  • Menaregood

    Thank you for all the marvellous work you do pushing back against anti male bias. Perhaps the suicide numbers say enough, we loose one man to suicide every two hours in the UK, but I would just like to add that:

    95% of people in prison are male and they receive longer prison sentences than women for the same category of crime. ONS & UK Gov Stats

    60% of all potentially avoidable deaths are male (ONS)

    85% of homeless people are male. (2016 CHAIN Report)

    It’s astonishing how blind we are to the quiet suffering of men and how worried we are about unfairness to women, who by most measures of misery seem to be doing rather better.

    • Craig Martin

      Women are significantly under-represented in workplace fatalities, something Feminists have not yet moved to address.

      • Menaregood

        You’re absolutely right, it’s so typical of patriarchal men to exercise their dominance over women by hogging a selfish 97% of deaths at work.

      • Belinda Brown

        Yes I just can’t believe I didn’t put that in my article – I collected all the data from here http://mhrm.uk/wiki/comparative-longevity-and-excess-male-deaths/ I think it was and somewhere else basically last year 122 male deaths to 2 female at work. I think you will find there is a higher percentage of street homeless are men no? I haven’t checked your report will do so. I used to work with rough sleepers – i remember the charities were busy redefining homelessness to include all the people sleeping on friend’s sofas who didn’t want to be or who were at home with parents and didn’t want to be. That increased the number of female homeless but I would have thought that about 97 % of rough sleepers are men – but I guess I could be wrong.

  • DollarPound

    Because of the government’s crazy targets for same day appointments, I used to have to call my GP on same day to get an appointment.

    In practice this meant that I had to keep ringing from 8 am constantly until I got through. I couldn’t do this very often, as I travel to work.

    Usually by the time I got through, the appointments were gone and I had to start again the next day. On the rare occasions when I could get through, the only appointments left were completely unsuitable as they were during office hours.

    With a larger proportion of women at home (new mothers, part time workers etc) – able to camp on the receptionist’s line until they got through – they are more likely to get those appointments than men are.

    • Craig Martin

      Same day appointments are a bind. You have hit upon a great issue there.

  • corinium

    Todays announcement that doctors will be taking people off their books if they haven’t seen a doctor for over 5 years will have a disproportionately large effect on men – men tend to go to the doctor very infrequently, and I suspect this new system will result in many men dropping through the cracks of the NHS, thus missing out on healthcare check ups and monitoring programs. If such a change was likely to result in women being provided less healthcare there would be an uproar, as its men no-one gives a stuff.