Behave Like a Petulant Man

In an article in the AARP Bulletin about how to survive a heart attack, they give good advice – stemming from a study done at McGill University Health Centre in Montreal that suggests being assertive may keep you alive.

Men and women who were shy or reticent waited longer for treatment, so “be assertive, and don't play down your symptoms” is the advice.

To get into it a little deeper, the study was looking at the likelihood of recurrence of premature acute coronary syndrome (which is a fancy name for having a heart problem caused by restriction of blood flow to the heart muscle). The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and is interesting because the study measured how well people did related to their gender.

Now this is not quite the same their sex. It didn’t matter whether they were male or female, but how masculine or feminine they were.

You might think they’re the same, but gender refers to how much you display masculine or feminine characteristics – or as the McGill website puts it “gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men, and gender diverse people. It influences how people perceive themselves and each other, how they act and interact, and the distribution of power and resources in society.”

The researchers say, “our study suggests that adults with role and personality traits traditionally ascribed to women have an increased risk of recurrence of premature acute coronary syndrome.”

So I guess the moral is, if you think you’re having a heart attack, get in the ER and behave like a assertive, petulant man.

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