However, a new study defies the belief that men are the stronger ones.
Researchers from Duke University and University of Southern Denmark analysed the mortality data going back roughly around 250 years for people whose lives were cut short by different disasters like starvation or diseases or other misfortunes.
It's well known that women can expect to live longer, with Brit blokes' life expectancy at 79.4 years, compared to 83.1 years for the fairer sex.
Women are more likely to survive starvation, epidemics and violence - and their motherly instincts could be their saving grace. The data also included victims of starvation in Ireland, Sweden and Ukraine during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, as well as the casualties of measles epidemics in 1846 and 1882 in Iceland.
But a new study reveals that it's women who are strong and are more likely to survive a life threatening crisis than men. When starvation hit Ukraine in 1933, young females lived 50 percent longer than males. In times of adversity, newborn girls are more likely to survive than newborn boys. Overall, 43 percent of ex-slaves who were encouraged by the U.S. government to migrate to Liberia died within their first year in Africa because their immune systems were exposed to new diseases.
Life expectancy for both sexes dropped from 38 years, to 18.7 years for men and 22.4 years for women during the crisis, which claimed about one million lives. Life expectancy was staggeringly low - 1.68 years for men and 2.23 years for women.
When the researchers broke the results down by age group, they found that most of the female survival advantage comes from differences in infant mortality.
Men might naturally have more muscle mass and strength than women, but ladies are the ones that live longer - even in times of crisis.
Meanwhile during the Irish potato starvation in 1845 women once again outlived their male counterparts.
Biological differences between the two sexes also played a role, the researchers suggested.
Lead author Dr Virginia Zarulli, assistant professor of epidemiology, writing in the journal PNAS said: "The conditions experienced by the people in the analysed populations were horrific". They pointed out that the female sex hormone oestrogen has anti-inflammatory qualities and has been shown to enhance the immune system's ability to ward off infections.