July 25, 2011 New York Times: “Men in Grief Seek Others Who Mourn as They Do” By PERRY GARFINKEL
This got me thinking … especially since, having been through it twice, I can relate to the substance of the article.
One personal thought, or considered factor, is that it is wiser to marry young – there is a longer period with the partner. This would be highly important for a woman. A male marries older, and so has a longer period in which he is self-sufficient … so has that to fall back on. However, the cultural roles affect how we react to children … or how we cope. For the women, the role is sans husband; for the man, it’s taking on the wife’s responsibilities. Two very different environments.
Historically, where the man had multiple wives, or traveled extensively, the burden of a wife’s death was totally different than it is in modern society.
[Don’t have anywhere to go from that observation … it is not a fully formed subject area. Though I have no doubt that, over time, it will germinate into a one.]
In passing, interesting statistic: “The number of men age 65 and older increased by 21 percent from 2000 to 2010, nearly double the 11.2 percent growth rate for women in that age group, according to census figures.” Given that, modern society, environmental risks and medical care should be equal: I suspect this reflects a male bias in post-war births. (Men control gender, and research shows that, under stress, they generate more males.)