BBC.Men carry the seeds of their own destruction in the genes present in their sperm, research suggests.
Scientists working on mice have highlighted a specific gene which although carried by both sexes only appears to be active in males.
They believe it allows males to grow bigger bodies - but at the expense of their longevity.
The study, by Tokyo University of Agriculture, appears in the journal Human Reproduction.
Although the study was conducted on mice, the researchers believe it could apply to all mammals - including humans.
They studied mice created with genetic material from two mothers, but no father.
This was achieved by manipulating DNA in mouse eggs so the genes behaved like those in sperm.
The altered genetic material was implanted into the eggs of adult female mice to create embryos.
The resulting offspring, completely free of any genetic material inherited from a male, lived on average a third longer than mice with a normal genetic inheritance.
Damn pesky sperm, all killing us early and junk.