Women have a strong survival instinct, but it’s different from men’s. They don’t think “That man has a gun and my husband doesn’t, maybe I shouldn’t lead with insults here,” because they don’t have the clear A->B type of mortality salience. What they do have is an adjustable drive to acquire nicer things, so when they get a creeping malaise that things feel less safe they get obsessed with making big life changes like moving to a nicer place with nicer people. Insofar as they appear to have the A->B type of fear, it’s either A) due to survival instincts so deeply embedded (THAT SNAKE IS NEXT TO MY CHILD) that they may as well be be tendon reflexes, or B) associated with some personally traumatic life event, AKA learning the hard way or watching a violent movie at a young age.
I have many personal examples of this strange immunity to stimuli, but my favorite is from when I was helping my parents flip a property in Tennessee. An assistant of their favorite contractor would open carry a pistol on his hip, ostensibly for snakes, but really just because free men carry weapons openly and there’s still some sense of freedom in the mountains of Tennessee. Now, I wasn’t thinking of attacking him, or that he might attack me. He was super cool and we got along great. But I did at least register that he had a gun. My mom didn’t. It came up in conversation after about three weeks of working with these guys and she was surprised to learn he’d been carrying this whole time. Now, that’s obviously a pretty extreme example of this…blithe naivete?…but I like it because it communicates the alien-ness of the female mind. She felt safe in this guy’s company, so the gun was irrelevant to her. Literally beneath her notice.
Having absorbed that idea, you may now return to reality and recognize women exist on a spectrum from more insulated to less insulated and their brains exist on a spectrum from moreso to less so, but the pattern still holds and is alarmingly strong. The fact is, it’s been more adaptive for them historically to ignore physical threats and then scream in pain and wait for a man to come fix their problems. Similarly, men fantasize about playing captain save-a-ho because it’s very adaptive. (We know k-selected traits are adaptive in more historical contexts than r-selected traits because k-selected traits correlate in a positive manifold.) The way women process threats in their environment reminds me of the way autistic people process emotions. Which is to say poorly, by overwhelming accumulation, and about six months late for all practical purposes.