1st Jun 2017

Ageing: do men age better than women?

happy ageing couple
Debbie McTaggart

It has been said that men age like a fine wine, while women age like milk – not a particularly appealing sentiment but one it seems may have some merit.

While we know that menopause can dramatically affect the way a woman feels and looks, a change in hormones can also affect the way in which a man ages. Just as older women produce less oestrogen, older men produce less testosterone. In both men and women, the reduced production of these hormones can result in weight gain, lower sex drive, less energy and mood swings, but it’s the rate at which these changes occur that can often paint men in a more flattering light.

Weight gain
Men usually gain weight until their mid-50s but it does start to drop off again, often coinciding with the gradual reduction of testosterone. Women on the other hand tend to have a more sudden weight gain, especially around their waistlines, at the onset of menopause. Also, women gain weight until their mid-60s before they too start to lose it. In both instances the weight loss is often related to reduced muscle mass.

Sex drive
While men under 60 think about sex at least once a day, only a quarter of women give it that much thought. At the time of the menopause, women experience quite dramatic physical effects, which can make sex quite uncomfortable. On the other hand, while men may have a reduced vigor in their erection, this doesn't generally happen until later in life and there are always those little blue pills they can pop.

This is perhaps the most noticeable difference in the way men and women age, and there are a few reasons why. A man’s skin is generally about 25 per cent thicker than a woman’s and thins more gradually, whereas a woman’s will thin significantly around the time of menopause. Men also have a higher ratio of collagen than woman, which means the ageing effect of wrinkles aren't so noticeable on men. And lastly, a man can always grow a beard to hide his wrinkles – whereas a woman’s increased facial hair is not considered an asset!

This is the one area where women tend to score a win. While a woman’s hair will thin, go grey and change texture with age, hair treatments can negate these changes. Women are also less likely to go bald, whereas men will start losing their hair, with half showing some hair loss by the time they’re 50. Men are more likely to experience hereditary hair loss, so if their dad was a baldy, chances are they will be too.

Related articles:
Ageing: what’s normal, what’s not
Ageing: all in the mind?


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10th Jun 2017
'Do men age better than women'?

Who cares? In my experience people who are self-aggrandising, big noting, pretentious pains in the a.se as older people were very like self-aggrandising, big noting, pretentious pains in the a.se as young people - no matter what they look like!!!!!!!!!!!

And with these types it wouldn't matter if they are male or female or any other gender they would pretend to be functioning at a level 30 years younger than their biological age just to impress ..........Just sayin'
Liverpool Anne
10th Jun 2017
It is not who ages better, but how you feel in yourself. Age is just a number not a death sentence
10th Jun 2017
I have always taken care of myself and see no reason to change just because I am in my later years.
Ageing but not getting old
11th Jun 2017
Went to the links for COTA in the article; almost ALL of them came up with a 404 error. Some didn't even seem to have a forwarding link. This is a CURRENT article; can you please check the proper links and send them out in another article? Thanks
11th Jun 2017
What are women actually allowed to age? You would not think so with all the anti-aging skin care pushed onto them. Whilst men seem to allowed to age more gracefully women are continuously fighting it, think botox, mostly used by women.

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