Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The Better Half: On the Genetic Superiority of Women by Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD

If you're a female, this book has lots to like. Moalem is not shy in giving the conclusion to his study. “...[W]omen are genetically superior to men.” (4) “...[W]omen are the stronger sex.” (16) Women have a superior immune system and heal faster than men. (13) And in case we haven't received the message, women leave men behind when it comes to longevity, intellect, and stamina. (17)

The difference is that women have two X chromosomes. Women have the genetic advantage with a backup copy of X. Men don't so they experience diseases formed when there is a problem with one of the genes on the X chromosome. Women are better at making and retaining antibodies (155) so that they have a superior immunological response. (159) Males are three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism. Males have a 20% higher risk of developing cancer and a 40% higher chance of dying from it. (173) The only down side for women is that more women than men are being diagnosed with conditions like Alzheimer's disease.

Moalem reviews studies and shares personal stories and insights. I was surprised to find out that until rather recently, animal experiments were completed almost exclusively on males. That posed a problem as it is being found now that females often metabolize drugs at a different rate than males.

I recommend this book. Women will be reminded of that which we already knew. Men will be faced with the hard truth.

Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD, is an award-winning scientist, physician, and New York Times bestselling author. He is a world-renowned expert in genetics and rare genetic conditions whose clinical research led to the discovery and description of two new rare genetic conditions. His awards and discoveries are many.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 288 pages.

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