Books  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution & Anthropology 

How Men Age: What Evolution Reveals About Male Health and Mortality


By: Richard G Bribiescas (Author)

192 pages, 10 b/w illustrations

Princeton University Press

Hardback | Sep 2016 | #231956 | ISBN-13: 9780691160634
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £18.95 $23/€21 approx

About this book

While the health of aging men has been a focus of biomedical research for years, evolutionary biology has not been part of the conversation – until now. How Men Age is the first book to explore how natural selection has shaped male aging, how evolutionary theory can inform our understanding of male health and well-being, and how older men may have contributed to the evolution of some of the very traits that make us human.

In this informative and entertaining book, renowned biological anthropologist Richard Bribiescas looks at all aspects of male aging through an evolutionary lens. He describes how the challenges males faced in their evolutionary past influenced how they age today, and shows how this unique evolutionary history helps explain common aspects of male aging such as prostate disease, loss of muscle mass, changes in testosterone levels, increases in fat, erectile dysfunction, baldness, and shorter life spans than women. Bribiescas reveals how many of the physical and behavioral changes that we negatively associate with male aging may have actually facilitated the emergence of positive traits that have helped make humans so successful as a species, including parenting, long life spans, and high fertility.

Popular science at its most compelling, How Men Age provides new perspectives on the aging process in men and how we became human, and also explores future challenges for human evolution – and the important role older men might play in them.

"This gracefully written, authoritative book is worth ten stay-young-forever self-help fairy tales. If you want to grasp the biological and psychological realities of male aging, this is the book for you. It will help you age better, stronger, healthier, and smarter, without losing your sense of humor."
– Melvin Konner, author of Women after All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy

"How Men Age is a wise, thoughtful, and provocative book that everyone should read – women and men alike. Bribiescas eloquently explains how and why men mature and die, drawing on evolutionary theory, endocrinology, anthropology, genetics, and more. His insights will change how you think about human life – including your own."
– Daniel E. Lieberman, author of The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease

"Bribiescas takes a potentially complicated topic – male aging – and makes reading about it enjoyable. His writing style is warm and inviting, and he uses interesting anecdotes and lighthearted analogies to great effect. The book also has lots of muscle, little fat, and overall, lots of substance."
– Peter B. Gray, coauthor of Fatherhood: Evolution and Human Paternal Behavior

"A major contribution to our understanding of gender and life span. Bribiescas's narrative is fun reading, and his arguments are supported by salient examples."
– Caleb E. Finch, author of The Biology of Human Longevity


Acknowledgments ix

Chapter 1 A Gray Evolutionary Lens 1
Chapter 2 Dead Man’s Curve 17
Chapter 3 Getting a Handle on Love Handles 45
Chapter 4 Older Fathers, Longer Lives 70
Chapter 5 Dear Old Dad 88
Chapter 6 Darwinian Health and Other Contradictions 106
Chapter 7 Older Men and the Future of Human Evolution 133

Notes 145
Index 169

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Richard G. Bribiescas is professor of anthropology and ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University, where he also serves as deputy provost for faculty development and diversity. He is the author of Men: Evolutionary and Life History. He lives in Hamden, Connecticut.

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