No Beating Men at Booze and Snooze - The New Indian Express

No Beating Men at Booze and Snooze

Published: 09th March 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 09th March 2014 07:25 AM

Unless you were on a covert mission in Mongolia or slashing through vines in the Amazon rainforest, chances are that you know yesterday was Women’s Day. Newspapers, magazines, television and radio, even malls and movie halls sang paeans to women and tried to ply them (or rather persuade others to ply them) with presents, flowers and accolades. Now that a new dawn has broken and the pink wave has receded, perhaps men can get a bit of attention too.

The stronger (at least, physically) sex hasn’t been having a very easy time of late. For one, there’s all this hysteria being whipped up about how men in the workplace need to be scared, very scared, of the new harassment laws because women, quite clearly, are putting all their energies and money into getting educated and professionally-qualified just for the opportunity of shouting rape as soon as they spot a male in the office.

The battle got another twist with psychologists finding that IQ scores of women have risen above men’s for the first time in history. Women have been about five points behind men since testing began a century ago but the fairer sex finally came up tops a year and a half ago. Some researchers think the demands of juggling a family with a career may have made women more intelligent; others believe that women always had the potential for higher results but realized it only now. 

As if that wasn’t demoralising enough, last week, doctors found that children of men over 45 (vis-à-vis kids with young dads) are more likely to suffer from autism, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia besides having a low IQ and doing poorly in studies. So much for the non-ticking of the male biological clock.

Still, there are at least two areas where men are unlikely to be beaten. The first is the bar. No, not the legal one; we’re talking about drinking here. When it comes to alcohol, women have to accept defeat. They can blame it on their bodies. Women are affected by alcohol more rapidly because they have a higher proportion of body fat than men. Since fat cannot absorb alcohol, it gets concentrated at higher levels in the blood. Women also have less of a gastric enzyme to metabolize the alcohol before it enters the bloodstream. Voila, a woman absorbs nearly 30 per cent more alcohol than a man of the same height and weight knocking back the same number of drinks. 

The second arena of male superiority is the bed. Sleeping is the other key activity that men excel at. Not only do they manage to nod off as soon as their head hits the pillow, they can also sleep through hurricanes, earthquakes and baby wails (not to mention concerts, movies and family get-togethers). Doctors say women can’t sleep as quickly as men because they tend to fret about things more and are unable to let go of the day as efficiently. Also, they sleep less soundly when they share a bed with a romantic partner, unlike men who sleep better when they sleep next to a woman.

Indian men, in fact, do it best, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which released a study on Thursday on gender disparities in 29 countries. The Paris-based group found that an average Indian man spends over 11 hours a day on sleeping, eating and watching TV. That’s a world record.

Impressive enough for a paean, you think?

shampa@newindianexpress.com

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