TIME psychology

Why Men Are More Narcissistic Than Women

You dreamboat, you: More women will be joining you at that mirror
Alija; Getty Images/Vetta You dreamboat, you: More women will be joining you at that mirror

Narcissism has long afflicted more men than women—but that could be changing

If there’s one thing you can say for craziness, it’s that it’s not sexist. Across entire populations, males and females face a pretty equal lifetime risk of coming unhinged. Within conditions, however, there may be differences. Women are twice as likely as men, for example, to develop depression. Anxiety disorders such as OCD and phobias also hit women a bit harder.

Narcissism, however, goes the other way. Research has long suggested that if you’re looking for someone who’s preening, strutting, self-absorbed, arrogant, exhibitionistic, conceited, insensitive and entitled, you’ll find more of them in the boys’ camp than you will in the girls’. So it comes as, well, almost no news at all that a new study—hold your applause till the end, please—found exactly that!

The research, in fairness, was sweeping: a meta-analysis of 355 journal articles and other studies going back 31 years. In the behavioral sciences, which lack the tidy, 1+1=2 certainty of fields like chemistry and physics and math, meta-analyses are often the best way to lock down a hypothesis. The paper did that, but it did more too—not just establishing the gender disparity but explaining why it exists.

In my 2014 book, The Narcissist Next Door, I wrestled with the question of narcissism and gender, and came to the conclusion that our still-patriarchal society is far likelier to tolerate—even encourage—narcissistic swagger and aggressiveness in men than it is in women. It was hardly a theory I developed de novo, but rather is one many researchers had voiced—thought not yet proven. The researchers in the new study—led by Emily Grijalva, an assistant professor of organization and human resources at the University of Buffalo School of Management—broke down their meta-data in ways that highlighted three of the multiple categories of narcissistic behavior: grandiosity and exhibitionism; leadership and authority; and entitlement.

Men ran away with the entitlement category (we’re looking at you, John Edwards, Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen), and led by a narrower gap in the leadership and authority category. “Compared with women,” Grijalva said in a statement that accompanied the study, “men exhibit more assertiveness and desire for power.” That, too, is consistent with a culture in which men don’t merely hold more more positions in government and high finance, but seek those positions more as well.

But when it comes to exhibitionism—the basic table stakes for boys and girls dreaming of growing up to achieve their true full narcissistic potential—the sexes start off pretty much equally. As happens so often in a sexist world, however, that potential—OK, pathological potential—is squelched in girls while it’s encouraged in boys.

“Individuals tend to observe and learn gender roles from a young age, and may face backlash for deviating from society’s expectations,” Grijalva said. “In particular, women often receive harsh criticism for being aggressive or authoritative, which creates pressure for [them] to suppress displays of narcissistic behavior.”

Gender equality, of course, is a surpassing good, and the arc of history is inevitably bending its way. It will, alas, almost certainly mean narcissistic equality too. Let’s hope that the growing ranks of female narcissists conduct themselves better than the boys have.

TIME medicine

One Hour of Sleep Makes a Difference In What You’ll Eat

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Lynn Koenig—Getty Images/Flickr RF

When it comes to teens and sleep, it’s not how much sleep, but how consistently they sleep the same amount that’s important for their health

Plenty of studies have documented that teens don’t get enough sleep. They’re supposed to be in bed for eight to nine hours a night, but most get seven or less. Now the latest sleep research, presented at the American Heart Association EPI/Lifestyle 2015 meeting, shows when it comes to weight gain—which has been tied to sleep deprivation and disturbances—it’s not necessarily the amount of sleep that tips the scales but rather the consistency of that nightly rest.

Fan He, an epidemiologist at Penn State University College of Medicine, and his colleagues found a strong correlation between the variation in sleep patterns among a group of teens and the amount of calories they consumed. And for every hour difference in sleep on a night-to-night basis over a week, for example, they ate 210 more calories—most of it in fat and carbohydrates. Those with uneven sleep patterns were also more likely to snack.

Previous studies have linked poor or disrupted sleep to obesity; people not getting enough shut-eye, for example, may experience changes in the hormones that regulate appetite and how well they break down glucose in their diet. Levels of the hormone leptin, for instance, drop in those who are sleep deprived, and less leptin prompts the body to feel hungry.

MORE: The Power of Sleep

In the current study, however, all the teens got an average of seven hours a night, so it wasn’t as if some of the teens were sleeping for extremely long or short periods of time. Any metabolic changes they would have experienced due to their sleeping less than the recommended eight to nine hours would have been similar among the consistent and inconsistent sleepers.

Dr. Nathaniel Watson, president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center, stresses that good quality sleep involves three things — getting enough sleep, making sure the timing of the sleep if appropriate, and avoiding sleep disorders. While the amount of sleep has gotten the lion’s share of attention in recent years, a new phenomenon called social jet lag, which the current study investigates, may deserve equal consideration. “We live in a society of yo-yo sleep in which people sleep less because of social or work demands, then try to catch up,” says Watson. “There haven’t been a lot of studies that looked at what kind of impact this has on our health, but teenagers may be particularly susceptible to social jet lag than older adults, and this study assessed that.”

MORE: This Is What’s Keeping Teens From Getting Enough Sleep

These results show that it was the variability in their sleep that was most strongly linked to their eating habits.

Why? The researchers guess that teens who aren’t sleeping consistently are more likely to get too little sleep on one night, for example, and therefore be more tired or sedentary the following day, which leads them to sit around and eat more. It may also be possible that teens with irregular sleep habits are more likely to stay up later on weekends; He found that these adolescents had a 100% higher chance of snacking on weekends compared to those who slept more regularly.

MORE: School Should Start Later So Teens Can Sleep, Urge Doctors

That suggests that health experts should focus not just on the amount of sleep teens are getting, but on their sleep patterns. “Instead of focusing on how much we sleep, we also need to pay attention to maintaining a regular sleep pattern,” says He. Such consistency, however, may not be so easy for teens to master.

 

TIME Diet/Nutrition

Why Full-Fat Dairy May Be Healthier Than Low-Fat

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Danny Kim for TIME

Dodging dairy fat may be bad for your waistline

Skim milk or whole? Non-fat yogurt or full-fat? For decades, public health officials have treated these decisions as no-brainers. Cut the dairy fat, they’ve maintained, and you’ll sidestep calories without missing out on good stuff like calcium and protein. Win-win. But they might have been wrong, a chorus of experts now say.

A recent review published in the European Journal of Nutrition of the existing research on dairy fat came to some surprising conclusions: People who eat full-fat dairy are no more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes than people who stick to low-fat dairy. When it comes to weight gain, full-fat dairy may actually be better for you, the review found.

“In terms of obesity, we found no support for the notion that low-fat dairy is healthier,” says Dr. Mario Kratz, first author of the review and a nutrition scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Of the 25 studies included in his team’s review, Kratz says 18 reported lower body weights, less weight gain, or a lower risk for obesity among full-fat dairy eaters. The other seven studies were inconclusive. “None of the research suggested low-fat dairy is better,” he says.

More research supports his team’s findings. A 2013 study in the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care tracked the dairy intake and obesity rates of more than 1,500 middle-aged and older adults. Those who frequently ate full-fat butter, milk, and cream had lower obesity rates than those who eschewed dairy fat. “Based on my own research and on the research of others, I believe high-fat dairy is less likely to contribute to obesity that low-fat dairy,” says Dr. Sara Holmberg, first author of the study.

The belief that fat isn’t a health villain has been gaining traction the last few years, especially as data has piled up showing that low-fat diets don’t work. And while national health organizations seem to be softening their stance on fat, they still recommend reaching for low- or non-fat dairy at the supermarket.

Their justification: “Research has shown consistently that nutrient-rich foods—that is, foods that pack a lot of micronutrients into every calorie—are healthier,” says Isabel Maples, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Maples says reduced-fat dairy provides calcium, potassium, and other good things Americans need in their diet, and does so with fewer calories than full-fat dairy. She says reduced-fat dairy also contains less saturated fat.

Kratz doesn’t disagree with Maples’s comments. But he says they make assumptions about dairy that aren’t backed up by existing evidence. “Data should be weighed more heavily than assumptions,” he says. “And the data don’t support the notion that eating full-fat dairy is worse for your health than reduced-fat or non-fat dairy.”

How could something with more calories be better for your waistline? Some researchers argue that not all calories are equal—especially when it comes to weight gain. Also, focusing on calories-per-serving largely ignores a mammoth factor when it comes to obesity: fullness. Kratz says the fatty acids that are stripped out of reduced-fat dairy may help you feel full sooner and stay full longer—meaning you’ll eat less now and in the coming hours.

Dairy’s fatty acids may also play a role in gene expression and hormone regulation. In simple terms, these acids may crank up how much energy your body burns, or limit the amount of fat your body stores. “We don’t know any of these things for certain,” Kratz adds. “But they could help explain why our findings show full-fat dairy consumption is preferable to low-fat when it comes to a person’s risk for obesity.”

Holmberg, the author of the Scandinavian study, calls dairy “paradoxical,” and says it’s not possible to judge dairy’s health effects based only on its macronutrient content. “It is important to study the effect of real food and not just nutrients,” she adds.

Several more European studies have suggested similar links between full-fat dairy and lower rates of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. And a just-published review from the journal BMJ concludes that, back in the 1970s—when health regulators established national diet guidelines that encouraged people to avoid fat—there wasn’t evidence to support those warnings. Basically, the foundation for all your “fat is evil” beliefs may have always been weak.

At the same time, none of this means you should gorge yourself on full-fat dairy. “We shouldn’t swing the pendulum too far in the other direction and say, ‘Put butter in everything and eat as much dairy as you want,’ ” Kratz warns. (Compared to many foods—especially vegetables and fruit—dairy contains no fiber, which is critical for digestion, for how the body manages sugar, and which plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight.)

But if you’re deciding between skim milk and whole milk, the existing research argues you may be better off grabbing the full-fat stuff.

TIME toxins

Here’s the Staggering Healthcare Cost of Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals

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A suite of new studies puts a price tag on health problems linked to certain chemicals in our food, makeup and even couches—and it’s steep. The series of papers, just published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, convened expert panels who reviewed laboratory and population-based evidence that certain endocrine-disrupting chemicals—including pesticides, bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, which are said to interfere with hormones in the human body—contribute to disease and disability. The cost in the European Union, they concluded, is likely €157 billion ($209 billion U.S.) per year, and may be as high as €270 billion ($359 billion) a year.

MORE Plastic Chemicals During Pregnancy Linked to 70% Increased Asthma Risk

The scientists looked at 5% of known endocrine disruptors and estimated costs of exposure, including loss of economic productivity through disability and disease, in the European Union. They focused on three categories of health issues for which they felt the evidence was strongest: impacts on the developing brain and neurodevelopmental disabilities, obesity and diabetes, and male reproductive disabilities. Their estimates were approximately €157 billion per year—more than 1% of the European GDP, the researchers note.

MORE You Asked Is Perfume Safe?

Organophosphate pesticide exposure accounted for the biggest chunk of the cost, at €120 billion. Plastics, cans, phthalates and BPA came in second at €26 billion. Neurological health problems including ADHD were by far the most impactful, researchers concluded, at €132 billion per year.

“Our findings suggest potentially that endocrine-disrupting chemicals are replacing lead and methylmercury as leading contributors to neurodevelopmental disease and disability in children,” says Dr. Leonardo Trasande, lead author on the papers and associate professor of pediatrics and environmental medicine at New York University School of Medicine. By comparison, he says, the cost of lead exposure in Europe is roughly €50 billion.

MORE Beauty Products May Trigger Early Menopause

Trasande adds that the cost estimates would likely be similar in the United States, though because of U.S. efforts like the Food Quality Protection Act to lessen pesticide exposure, pesticide-related costs would probably be lower.

There are proven ways to lower your exposure to the major endocrine-disrupting chemicals, Trasande says, including eating organic to cut out organophosphate pesticides and not microwaving plastic to limit phthalates. But real change will need regulation reform, he says. “Except for the Food Quality Protection Act, the regulatory model in the United States assumes innocent until proven guilty, resulting in broad and widespread experimentation on humans with exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals,” he says. “We’re just trying to put information into the hands of decision makers, so that we can consciously and openly decide whether it’s appropriate to allow for a 50% probability that the use of a chemical may contribute to a condition and lead to billions of dollars of costs.”

TIME Diet/Nutrition

4 Ways to Tell How Much Sugar You’re Eating

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Sugar adds up quickly in your daily diet

The World Health Organization issued guidelines Tuesday encouraging people to limit sugar intake to no more than 10% of the calories their daily diet.

Keeping to the limit, which doesn’t include sugar found in fruit and vegetables, would help curb obesity, tooth decay and other problems caused by excess sugar intake, officials from the agency said. Taking things even further, WHO suggests limiting your sugar to below 5% of daily calories for even more health benefit. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates that the average American consumes 16% of their daily calories from added sugar.

But what does 16% of daily calories in sugar look like? And how can you cut down to 10% or less?

1. Learn how to switch grams into sugar packets. The first place to start is the nutrition facts on the back of the product, which tells you how many grams of sugar are in a given product. Of course, since most people have no idea what a gram of sugar looks like, it helps to have a quick conversion in your own head. One packet of sugar—the kind people put in their coffee—is typically 4 grams.

2. Find hidden sugar. Next, you want to realize that most of the sugar Americans consume in a day is not the granulated white stuff, but hidden sugars in everything from low-fat salad dressing and BBQ sauce to store-bought bread, yogurt and breakfast cereal. These hidden sugars add up.

3. Check your sugar calories. Keeping all that in mind, you want to figure out how many calories you’re getting from all that sugar. A rough, if inexact, way to do that math is like this: Every packet of added sugar equals about 16 calories. Assuming you eat 2,000 calories per day, give or take, that means no more than 200 of your calories—or 100 if you’re being strict—should come from sugar. Either way, you shouldn’t eat or drink more than the equivalent of 10 of those in any given day.

4. See what those sugar tallies look like. Nutrition labels leave out the percentage of daily sugar a product contains. In fact, the FDA, which oversees implementation of the label by food manufacturers, has no official guideline about how much sugar you should consume, and the USDA says simply “Consume fewer foods with … added sugars,” and leaves it at that. To help you understand how much sugar you should be eating according to the WHO, TIME used information from nutrition labels to give you a sense of how quickly you can hit that 10% cap. All figures assume you’re eating a 2,000 calorie daily diet:

DINNER OUT

If you go to Olive Garden and have the citrus chicken sorrento entree with a 20 oz. can of coke you’ll already have consumed 275 calories of sugar. That’s 14% of the total calories and 40% more than the total sugar most people should consume in a day. Add the 162-calorie Olive Garden lemon cream cake to your meal and, in sugar alone, you’ll have eaten nearly a quarter of the total calories you’re supposed to consume throughout the day.

AN AFTERNOON SNACK

A vanilla latte and a doughnut would cost you 201 sugar calories, which is just over the total recommended max.

A LOW-FAT BREAKFAST

Think you’re fine with a fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt and a coffee with one sugar packet? You probably are, assuming you don’t eat sugar again for the rest of the day—which is unlikely. That combination is 181 calories of sugar, or 9 percent of your recommended total calorie intake.

A GIANT BREAKFAST

Every now and then you may want to treat yourself and ditch that healthy breakfast. If you have French toast with maple syrup, you’ll easily hit 182 calories of sugar, which is just shy of the recommended total. Add a cup of OJ and you’re easily way over the daily recommended value before you’ve even left the house for the day. Or, if you’re at a chain like IHOP, make sure you avoid some of the more creative French toast twists. The restaurant’s Peach Vanilla Stuffed French Toast, for instance, contains 325 calories of sugar—that’s a day and a half of the recommended value.

A POST-WORKOUT SNACK

Want hydrate and enjoy a quick energy hit after that work out? A large bottle of Gatorade and a Clif Bar will load you with 292 calories of sugar, or nearly 15% of your total recommended calorie intake for the day—and more than your sugar intake, too.

 

TIME

Liberia Releases Its Last Ebola Patient (For Now)

Liberia  Ebola West Africa
Abbas Dulleh_AP Ebola patient Beatrice Yardolo surrounded by Chinese military health workers as she leaves the Chinese Ebola treatment center were she was treated for the Ebola virus infection outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia on March 5, 2015.

But don't hold your breath

Liberia released it’s last confirmed Ebola patient on Thursday.

According to the Associated Press, the patient was a 58-year old English teacher named Beatrice Yardolo who was undergoing treatment at a Chinese-run Ebola center in the capital of Monrovia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed with TIME that the country currently does not have any confirmed patients in its Ebola treatment centers. Starting Thursday, Liberia can begin its count to 42 days of no new cases—two times the typical incubation period for the virus. At that point, Liberia can be declared Ebola-free.

However, the situation is still fragile, according to the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Though MSF is not treating any confirmed patients in its Liberian Ebola treatment center, they still accept suspected cases. It’s quite possible that a person with suspected and later confirmed Ebola comes into their facility at any point.

“This is an encouraging sign for Liberia. However, there is no room for complacency as the overall number of new Ebola cases in [West Africa] has risen this week,” MSF said in a statement sent to TIME. “From the outset, this outbreak has been characterized by its unpredictability and geographic spread. People move easily over the porous borders that separate Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, so until 42 days pass without a new case in any of the three worst-affected countries we need to remain vigilant.”

MSF says serious gaps still persist in the response to the outbreak: “Significant improvements need to be made in contact tracing and surveillance, and we still need to improve regional coordination. Practical collaboration between surveillance teams based in each country need to be implemented as soon as possible to avoid importing new cases into areas considered Ebola-free.”

So far a total of 23,983 cases of Ebola have been reported in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, including 9,823 deaths. The WHO announced Thursday that Guinea will be launching a large efficacy trial for an Ebola vaccine.

TIME Exercise/Fitness

6 Ways a TV Binge Affects Your Body

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And how to fight each one

When a major show releases an entire season at once—we’re looking at you, House of Cards—it’s hard to resist devouring it all over a single weekend. And you probably won’t be alone: According to a 2014 poll by research firm Miner & Co Studio, 70% of U.S. television watchers self-identified as binge-viewers.

But before you settle in, let’s talk about what a TV binge can do to your body. You know that a habit of sitting for prolonged periods has been linked to everything from obesity to early death, but you may wonder: What harm can one or two lazy days really do?

Well, let’s just say there are some good reasons to try to split up your TV or movie binge.

“Even one long television session can certainly cause some immediate side effects,” says John P. Higgins, MD, associate professor of cardiology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and a certified personal trainer. “And the more you do it, the more you’ll be at risk for longer-term problems.”

Here are all the ways your body is affected while you binge-watch, plus how to fight each one.

Your appetite

Watching television often goes hand in hand with mindless overeating and unhealthy snacking, Dr. Higgins says, and watching episode after episode can make that worse. “You probably don’t want to stop for an hour to cook yourself a healthy meal, so you order pizza or fast food, or you snack on junk food the whole time.” And if you think that one bad-for-you dinner can’t hurt, think again: A 2012 study from the University of Montreal found that a single meal high in saturated fat can can damage arteries and restrict blood flow in the body. Furthermore, watching high-paced, action-oriented programs also triggers more distracted eating than less stimulating news or talk shows, according to a 2014 study by Cornell University.

Simply seeing characters eat on TV may make you consume more calories, Dr. Higgins adds, just as watching them drink alcohol may trigger you to crave a cocktail, or seeing them smoke (ahem, Frank and Claire) may tempt smokers to light up.

Fight it: Prep healthy food in advance
Make a healthy meal before you indulge in one (or more) episodes, and have pre-portioned healthy snacks (think popcorn or almonds) at the ready.

Read more: 20 Snacks That Burn Fat

Your muscles

It’s unlikely that you’ll gain five pounds or sabotage your fitness goals in one sitting, but spending all day on your butt can have more immediate consequences, including stiffness, back pain, and muscle cramps.

Fight it: Watch on the go
Download the Netflix app, so you can watch from your phone or tablet on the treadmill, stationary bike, or—Frank’s personal favorite—the rowing machine. At the very least, you should take a stand and stretch break between each episode.

Read more: 15-Minute Workout: Get Total-Body Toned

Your mood

A recent study by University of Texas at Austin researchers found that binge-watching is linked with feelings of depression and loneliness. People often try to lose themselves in TV to distract themselves from their negative feelings, the authors say, but often they’re unable to stop—even when they know they are neglecting work and relationships. Spending a whole weekend watching TV may also cause feelings regret and guilt, says psychiatrist Grant Brenner, MD, adjunct assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, but those are usually temporary.

For viewers with pre-existing mental health conditions, however, a binge session may have bigger consequences. “Perhaps they’re in a vulnerable state and the material triggers a negative reaction—such as activating trauma or amplifying irrational beliefs of some sort,” Dr. Brenner says.

Speaking of trauma, House of Cards has some dark subject matter. “Being exposed to any sufficiently intense or resonant emotionally-laden experience can potentially affect a person’s disposition and outlook,” Dr. Brenner adds, at least for a few days.

Fight it: Watch with friends
You need to talk to someone about Frank and Claire, and why that thing that was so crazy was just. So. Crazy!

Read more: 12 Worst Habits For Your Mental Health

Your sleep

And not just the sleep you lose by watching straight through the night (you probably already know you shouldn’t do that); it’s possible that your shut-eye schedule in the days after your binge session could be affected as well, Dr. Higgins says. “If you watch in a dark room with a lack of sunlight it can screw up your circadian rhythm and disrupt sleep-wake cycles.” On top of that, research suggests that the blue light emitted from televisions, computers, and smartphones can impair the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps promote sleep. (Not to mention, it can cause headaches and eye strain.)

Fight it: Avoid a binge that’s too close to bedtime
You need at least an hour away from the blue light to appropriately wind down. Also: watching on a screen that’s close to your face may have the biggest impact, so be sure you really “sit back” and relax.

Read more: 10 Sleep Compatibility Problems, Solved

Your circulation

Staying in one position for too long can contribute to deep vein thrombosis and the formation of potentially fatal blood clots, even in otherwise active individuals. “I’ve seen young healthy people who have been lying around all day surfing the web or watching movies get blood clots,” Dr. Higgins says. “When you’re watching TV, you may be moving your hands a bit but usually your feet are just lying there.”

Fight it: Get up at least every 30 minutes
“It’s another important reason to get up every 30 minutes or so, even if it’s just to stand and pump the calves and keep the blood flowing,” Dr. Higgins says.

Read more: How to Prevent a Blood Clot

Your metabolism

Studies show that spending long periods of time in a chair or on a couch do slow metabolism and cause the body to store more fat, which can lead to a slow, steady weight gain. Plus, you’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating: prolonged sitting has been linked to certain cancers, diabetes, disability, and heart disease—and the more time people spend watching TV, the more likely they are to die prematurely. In many cases, these associations hold true even if you’re getting the recommended amount of exercise during the day.

Fight it: Don’t make it a habit
Thankfully, it’s not every week that Netflix releases an addicting show.

Read more: 6 Ways to Sit Less Every Day

The bottom line

There are ways to make the occasional marathon TV session healthier. “If you decide you’re going to watch five episodes in one day rather than one episodes every night of the week—and you use that hour each night to work out when wouldn’t otherwise—you can treat a weekend binge as a reward,” Dr. Higgins says.

Brenner agrees. “For a lot of folks, binge-watching might be a form of relaxing ‘stay-cation,’ especially if it is viewed as a valuable recreational experience and not as an excessive indulgence,” he says. “As with most things, moderation is the key to avoiding problems.”

Read more: 5 Ways To Make Your Netflix Binge A Little Healthier

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

TIME gender

Study Says Men Are More Narcissistic Than Women

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Tim Robberts—Getty Images

The study confirms just about every gender stereotype about male entitlement

Men on average are more self-absorbed than women are, according to a new study published in the March edition of Psychological Bulletin.

Researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Management analyzed data from more than 475,000 participants taken over the course of 31 years and found that men consistently scored higher in tests for narcissism, regardless of age.

The scientists studied gender differences in three features of narcissism: leadership and authority, exhibitionism and entitlement. They looked at how people responded to statements like, “If I ruled the world, it would be a much better place.” Researchers found a large gap between the genders in the categories of leadership and entitlement, suggesting that men are more likely than women to believe they deserve privileges and pursue opportunities. But men and women were equally as exhibitionist.

“Compared with women, men exhibit more assertiveness and desire for power,” lead author Emily Grijalva said on the University of Buffalo website. “But there was no difference in the exhibitionism aspect, meaning both genders are equally likely to display vanity or self-absorption.”

The researchers said that the narcissism gap between genders likely stems from ingrained societal gender stereotypes. Women who are taught they are not as worthy of leadership roles as men are less likely to believe they deserve them or are entitled to them.

“Individuals tend to observe and learn gender roles from a young age, and may face backlash for deviating from society’s expectations,” Grijalva says. “In particular, women often receive harsh criticism for being aggressive or authoritative, which creates pressure for women, more so than for men, to suppress displays of narcissistic behavior.”

Take TIME’s quiz to determine if you are a narcissist

TIME LIFE Photo Essay

A Portrait of Old Age in America in the Pre-Medicare Era

A look back at LIFE's four-part series on the plight of the elderly in 1959, for which a photographer was dispatched to take what one editor called 'horror pictures'

When LIFE set out to do a four-part series on aging in America in 1959, the magazine’s agenda was abundantly clear. “The problem of old age,” the introduction read, “has never been so vast or the solutions so inadequate.” There were five times as many elderly Americans as there had been at the turn of the century, and 60 percent of them had an annual income of less than $1,000. Medicare was still two presidents away, and people who couldn’t live with their families or on their own were often sent to state institutions where, the story read, they “lie in bed or sit beside it, imprisoned by helplessness, waiting to die, yet clinging to lives of crushing emptiness.”

To convey the urgency of the problem to its readers, LIFE would put them face to face with it. The editors would ask them, implicitly, to picture their own mothers and grandmothers “stored away like vegetables.” Or better yet, to see their own as-yet-unwrinkled faces reflected in the faces on its pages. The photographs would have to be difficult to see.

Before photographer Grey Villet was dispatched to St. Louis and Atlanta to photograph residents of state hospitals and nursing homes, his editor scoped out the locations. In a note that accompanied the rolls of film sent back to LIFE’s offices, he wrote: “Though the place is well kept and clean and the spirit of the inmates generally good, the 1911 architecture plus the general forlornness of all institutionalized old people should produce a good set of horror pictures if you want to shoot it that way.”

Later in the notes, the editor intentionally changed his language to “residents”—“a term preferred over ‘inmates.’” But Villet’s photos leave no doubt as to why one might compare them to prisoners. The expressions he captured are imbued with isolation and ennui, the state of being LIFE had described as “waiting to die.” His subjects seem to occupy their own civilization, separate and apart from the world that bustles outside their windows, a world that holds their past but refuses them a future.

At the St. Louis Chronic Hospital, women showed up to the dinner table two hours early and waited in silence. The editors agreed with hospital staff not to use subjects’ names, but conceded, “names would have been almost impossible to get anyway, since most of [the] people didn’t even know their names.”

Mae Rice, a nurse who ran a 16-bed nursing home in Chamblee, Georgia, was candid about the indignities her charges faced daily: “how their bladders empty unexpectedly on the floor, their gastric eruptions, their night time screams, their palsied movements.” A religious woman, she believed that if nothing else, “God has a purpose for these old people, even if it’s only to sit there on the porch and pray for their folks outside.”

If the magazine was going to take up real estate in four consecutive issues to convey the gravity of the problem, it wasn’t going to stay mum on remedies. The problem was both personal and political, and changes were desperately needed on both fronts. One installment offered examples of people who had found a reason to get up every day. Mrs. Andrew Murray Williams, 70, led tour groups on European vacations, while Dr. Robert Cushman Murray, 72, kept his job as an ornithologist at the Museum of Natural History. A doctor offered LIFE’s readers tips for preparing for their golden years: “Develop a taste for enjoying the work of others,” as you become less able to perform skills that once came easily.

The magazine outlined crucial policy changes, several of them enumerated in an op-ed by New York governor Nelson Rockefeller. The country needed to focus on rehabilitation, which pilot programs were proving could improve independence and combat feelings of helplessness. It needed affordable health insurance, quality housing and senior centers that addressed the abundant increase in leisure time post-retirement.

Perhaps more than anything, people needed something to do, some way of feeling connected to the society that too often cast them off as irrelevant. As Rockefeller wrote, “Elderly people are rich in years and potentials, each desiring to fill a useful place. They are all of us—tomorrow or the next day.”

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME year of the man

More Sex—and 7 Other Benefits for Men Who Help Out at Home

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8 reasons why it's good for men to embrace their inner feminist.

As Sheryl Sandberg likes to say, if a woman can’t find a partner, she should consider another woman—for the sake of equality, of course. Study after study shows that same-sex couples are more egalitarian, meaning they split chores, decisions and finances more evenly than the rest of us.

Us hetero gals aren’t so lucky, at least not yet. While the men in our lives may want to be all 50/50 when it comes to work and chores (and indeed, some of them are) it just doesn’t usually happen that way in practice. Gender roles run deep, and women still do the vast majority of the domestic work.

But if 2014 was the year of the female protagonist, then this will be the year of male feminist as icon. I’m not talking about men marching down Fifth Avenue (though I’d welcome it) but subtly adapting to the way things ought to be: New research shows there are more stay-at-home dads now than ever; and men of all walks are demanding more in the way of work-life balance, even if it means ridicule from their peers (or ignorant talk radio hosts).

Men are suiting up for more than just the rec football league—they’re suiting up in the kitchen. And if they’re cooking, it means they’re probably cleaning too, which would explain why proud fathers and sensitive betas are suddenly dominating the ad world, too. (Swiffer? A guy’s gotta mop the floor. Nissan SUV? It’s for shuttling kids to soccer practice, obviously.)

Now they’re entering the feminist Public Service Announcement circuit, which typically gets very active around this time of year. (It’s Women’s History Month, after all.) There is a new film, The Mask You Live In, that tackles our narrow definitions of masculinity. (It’s available for screenings in schools). There is a three-day conference—the first ever to take on “masculinities studies”— in New York City the first weekend in March. There is a campaign from the United Nations, He for She, to engage men on the topic of gender equality. You may remember the rousing opening speech to the campaign, from non-man but one of that gender’s favorite people, Emma Watson.

And now there is Lean In Together, a partnership between Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s nonprofit, LeanIn.org (where, in full disclosure, I am a contributing editor) and the NBA, to encourage men to support women at home and work. As Sandberg and business professor Adam Grant put it in a New York Times op-ed, the final in a four-part series on women and work, “equality is not a zero-sum game.” In other words: It’s good for men, too.

It’s easy to understand how women benefit from men doing their share both at home and at the office. When men chip in at home, women thrive at work (and feel less resentful and guilty). When men advocate for female colleagues in the office, women rise up. Yet beyond the obvious—that, uh, it’s the right thing to do—how do men benefit from the extra effort?

From raising healthier daughters to more sex at home, here are eight reasons why men supporting women is actually good for men.

1. Sex. You’ll Have More of It.
Call it the economics of choreplay: women are turned on by the idea of a man with his elbows up to suds. Sure, maybe they have a Mr Clean fetish, or maybe they’re just freaking exhausted, and not having to do the dishes for one night might put her in the mood. These days, women are the primary or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of American households, yet only 9% of dual-income marriages share childcare, housework and breadwinning evenly. Which means that when the first shift (work) is over, the second shift (home, dinner, laundry, dishes) begins. Which puts this next statistic into context: When couples share chores and breadwinning more equally, divorce rates go down. Men who share in dishwashing and diaper changing have happier wives, and more stable marriages.

When marriages are happy, couples, ahem, have more sex. So, the laundry: strip down and toss it in.

2. Your Daughters Will Have Higher Self-Esteem.
Engaged fatherhood is good for all kids: tots of more involved dads are better off cognitively, emotionally, socially and, ultimately, educationally and economically. But fathers have a particularly measurable impact on girls, whose self esteem develops —and then often falls—as early as middle school. Daughters with active fathers have more autonomy. They are more empowered. And if they watch their dad do chores, they’re actually more likely to aim higher. As Sandberg and Grant write, a study by a University of British Columbia psychologist found that when fathers shouldered an equal share of housework, their daughters were less likely to limit their aspirations to stereotypically female occupations (like nurse or teacher). “What mattered most was what fathers did, not what they said; no amount of saying ‘you can do anything’ is as compelling for a daughter as witnessing true partnership between her parents,” they write. For a girl to believe she has the same opportunities as boys, it makes a big difference to see Dad doing the dishes.”

3. You’ll Breed Feminist Sons.
And that will start the cycle over, as studies have found that boys who grow up in more equal homes are more likely to create equal homes as adults. As Sandberg and Grant point out, the flip is true too: sons reap rewards when their mothers have meaningful roles at work.

4. You’ll Be Happier.
This one’s for dads: Employed fathers who spend more time at home with their kids actually feel greater job satisfaction and less work-life conflict, according to a recent study. They’re also less likely to consider quitting their jobs.

5. You’ll Live Longer.
Caring for kids has been shown to make men more patient (ha!), empathetic and flexible, as well as lower their rates of substance abuse. Fatherhood has also been linked to lower blood pressure and lower rates of heart disease. But also: there’s longevity, even if you don’t have kids. Studies have found that there’s a longevity boost for men (and women) who provide care and emotional support to their partners.

6. You’ll Be More Successful At Work.
Know this, male bosses: diverse teams perform better. And when it comes to women specifically, here are a few attributes: they put in more effort, stay longer on the job, take fewer unnecessary risks, and collaborate more. (It’s no surprise, perhaps, that successful venture-backed start-ups have more than double the median proportion of female executives to failed ones.) But this isn’t just about women: companies that have family-friendly work environments are actually more productive, and higher employee retention.

7. Your Company Will be More Profitable.
Companies with more women in leadership perform better — full stop. Twenty-five percent of U.S. GDP growth since 1970 is attributed to women entering the paid workforce, and economists estimate that bringing more women into the workforce could raise GDP by 5%.

8. You’ll Get a Free Pass to the Revolution.
And free passes rock.
Jessica Bennett is a contributing columnist at Time.com covering the intersection of gender, sexuality, business and pop culture. She writes regularly for the New York Times and is a contributing editor on special projects for Sheryl Sandberg’s women’s nonprofit, Lean In. You can follow her @jess7bennett.

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