Whether a male or female has a longer life span.
One inquires further whether a male or female has a longer life span.
1. And it seems that it is the female. This is because moisture per se contributes to life, whereas heat does so per accidens because in itself heat consumes moisture. Since, then, the female is moister and the male is hotter, the female will have a longer life span.
2. In addition, where illness is slower, life is longer. But the female grows ill more slowly, and therefore, etc.
The Philosopher says the opposite in On the Reason for Shortness or Length of Life.
One must reply that the male has a longer life span naturally, but the female per accidens, because the length of a natural life span depends on the radical moisture and a tempered heat, whereas shortness of life arises from consumption of the radical moisture by the heat. But a tempered heat and the radical moisture are more abundant in the male than the female, and this is why, etc. Nevertheless, the female has a longer life span per accidens, because she does not work as hard and thus does not consume so much, and she is cleansed more by the menstrual flow and is less debilitated by sexual intercourse. And this is why she is conserved more. And these are accidental causes.
1. On to the arguments. To the first, one must reply that it does not belong to heat per se to consume, and certainly not tempered heat, and this is the sort that is in the male. And in addition to this, moisture is of two types: namely, airy and watery. Airy moisture contributes to life, as is said in the book On the Reason for Shortness or Length of Life, but watery moisture which is abundant in the femaledoes not. The first type, however, exists in the male, and this is why, etc.
2. To the second argument one must reply that illness is of two types: namely, natural and unnatural. Unnatural illness occurs less often in females than in males, because their superfluities are purged through menstruation. Nevertheless, natural illness occurs in them more than in men, because in males the power to resist is more powerful, but weaker in females. And this is why, etc.
Whether the male's flesh is softer than the female's flesh.
One inquires further whether the male's flesh is softer than the female's flesh.
1. It seems so. Because "those soft in flesh are sharp in mind," according to the Philosopher in the second book of On the Soul and in the twelfth book of this work. But the male has a quicker mind, and therefore he has softer flesh.
2. In addition, what is softer is more obedient to motion. Since, then, the male is more suited for motion than the female, it seems that the parts of the male are softer than those of the female.
The Philosopher says the opposite. He says that the parts of the male are harder, etc.
1. One must reply that softness in an animal can arise in two ways: either from an abundance of moisture and a weakness in power, and this is more common in the female than in the male; or it can arise from the strength of the power and of the heat spreading to the parts, and this type of softness is more common in the male than in the female, and this softness contributes to a good sense of touch and to the mind's discretion, and the first argument proceeds from this.
2. To the second argument one must reply that drier nerves are better suited for motion than moist nerves. Therefore, paralysis very often arises from excessive moisture of the nerves. Now, however, there is superfluous moisture in the females, and this is delegated to the motive members, and this is why it aggravates them. Therefore, females are less suited for motion than males. Therefore, the argument arrives at an opposite conclusion from the one proposed.