But even though women showed a longer life expectancy in almost every human society in the last decade of the 20th century, the size of the advantage varied greatly. Male Spiders Are Often Brighter in Color In some spider species, the color is an instant clue to its sex — the male spider is more brightly colored than its female counterpart. Even though many biological and genetic factors have been identified, their overall effect is impossible to measure, especially given the influence of social factors on mortality. Male Spiders Have Longer Legs Male spiders have longer legs, which is most likely an evolutionary characteristic as they roam farther and more frequently than females. The diversity in worldwide longevity alone indicates that the difference in mortality between the sexes is not purely biological and that there are intervening social factors. If they pick the wrong one, their child may begin to show symptoms of transsexualism , which can lead them to a life of discomfort until they are able to remedy the issue. If the fetus has testes, and if the testes produce testosterone, and if the cells of the genitals respond to the testosterone, the outer urogenital folds swell and fuse in the midline to produce the scrotum; the protuberance grows larger and straighter to form the penis; the inner urogenital swellings grow, wrap around the penis, and fuse in the midline to form the penile urethra. The genetic advantage of females is evident.
The initial appearance of the fetal genitalia looks basically feminine: In a larger perspective, the whole process of sexual differentiation also includes development of secondary sexual characteristics such as patterns of pubic and facial hair and female breasts that emerge at puberty. The difference in size makes male spiders easy prey. Part of the paradox can certainly be explained by the fact that this convergence is not absolute: The female is black with a red hourglass shape under her midsection, while the male is lighter in color, with red or pink spots on his back. But the recent mortality trends have gone much farther than the mere recovery of an original advantage, creating instead a new advantage of greater magnitude for women. Observations indicate that the growing excess male mortality in industrial countries could be explained by the rise of so-called "man-made diseases," which are more typically male. To caricature, women seek beauty, men seek strength and power; thus, a woman's body must remain young and healthy as long as possible, whereas a man's body must be submitted to risks and challenges from an early age. However, spiders in captivity can live for several years, with female spiders often outliving their male counterparts. In this context, women's biological advantage now appears relatively minor in the total mortality differences between the sexes. It is believed that because many female spiders don't leave their webs, they need more venom to protect their nests. More generally, the genetic difference between the sexes is associated with a better resistance to biological aging. Once the child is born, the parents are faced with decisions that are often difficult to make, such as whether or not to modify the genitalia, assign the child as male or female , or leave the genitalia as is. Estrogen, for example, facilitates the elimination of bad cholesterol and thus may offer some protection against heart disease; testosterone, on the other hand, has been linked to violence and risk taking. The diversity in worldwide longevity alone indicates that the difference in mortality between the sexes is not purely biological and that there are intervening social factors. For example, although women now participate massively in the work force, their roles remain different and their professional activities are, on average, less prejudicial to their health. These are pedipalps or "palps" and are used for navigating the spider's immediate environment, for holding onto prey while eating it, and in males, for depositing sperm in the female during mating. Today, given the general progress in female life conditions, women have not only regained their biological advantage, but have gone much beyond it, both because they tend to engage in fewer behaviors that are bad for health than men do and because they better profit from current advances in health care and living conditions. The result is that women, much more than men, are attentive to their bodies and their needs and often carry on deeper dialogs more easily with their doctors. Intersex is the development of genitalia somewhere between typical male and female genitalia. Other animals[ edit ] In many other animals a single posterior orifice, called the cloaca , serves as the only opening for the reproductive, digestive, and urinary tracts if present. But even though women showed a longer life expectancy in almost every human society in the last decade of the 20th century, the size of the advantage varied greatly. The differences between male and female spiders known as sexual dimorphism depend on the species. Male spiders need more room to roam, and female spiders tend to be more venomous. Thereafter, the development of the internal, and external reproductive organs is determined by hormones produced by certain fetal gonads ovaries or testes and the cells' response to them. Advertisement Bertrand Desjardins, a researcher in the demography department of the University of Montreal, explains.
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