Men are stronger than women. This is a fact that we've taken for granted for hundreds of years, they have more upper body strength, they can carry more weight and they have a more resilient anatomy.
However, new research studying why women often live longer than men, is bringing the accepted fact of male strength into some question. Not only does this study now believe that women's bodies are tougher than men's when fighting illness and the effects of ageing, they're also more resilient in endurance sports and long distance racing, and overall more robust in basic survival abilities.
In short, women are born better survivors than men.
“Pretty much at every age, women seem to survive better than men" says Steven Austad, an international expert on ageing and the chair of the biology department at the University of Alabama. Austad is currently carrying out research on the idea that women live longer than men and believes that our idea of male physical supremacy is a myth.
His work appears to be proven in many places. Looking back at our past, hunter-gatherer societies, once thought to be made up of hunting males and child rearing females, are now known to have been much less clear cut. Women are now known to have hunted as well as raising the children, taking both jobs on simultaneously, an early clue to the power of the female form. In modern day ultra-marathons, female runners are without fail, the stronger sex and more likely to finish the route, proving more resilience both mentally and physically to the challenges of the race.
In premature births, consistently more female babies survive than male and around the world of the 43 people known to be living past the age of 110, 42 are women. In almost all areas of life, when you look for it, examples of the superiority of women's bodies in protecting against outside attack are there.
Of course, on a very basic level, men still produce more testosterone than most women and their muscles therefore grow bigger, but in terms of the body's ability to protect itself and fight off all types of attack, it's that innate toughness in which women excel.
The female form was honed over millions of years to survive. We may have been seen as the weaker sex for a long time, but its time to ditch that label and celebrate our inner Amazon. Current trends may shout that 'strong being the skinny' for women, but as it turns out, we were the strong ones along all.