A mural in an ancient tomb in China shows a troupe of eunuchs. How long did they live?
Credit Wikimedia Commons
Tell people you're doing a story about the life spans of Korean eunuchs, the typical reaction is a giggle or a cringe.
But if you can overcome your visceral response to the topic, a study scientists in Korea did is quite interesting, both for what they found, and the way they found it.
Several scientists have shown that there is a link between longevity and reproduction: the greater the fertility, the shorter the life span. This has been fairly well established in nonhuman animal species, but proving it's the case for humans has been tricky.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. South Korea is a conservative society where men are dominant and also wear lots of makeup. A market research firm finds that this one small nation consumes more than 20 percent of the world's male skin care products. An AP reporter describes women applying lipstick to men, security guards behind layers of makeup and male flight attendants attending makeup class. A popular South Korean catch phrase is: Appearance is power. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.