Differences in athletics between men and women have always been a topic for discussion. But how can we gauge what are the physical bodily differences which define who we are in sports? Key factors are simply muscle mass, body fat, aerobic capacity, height and weight. Let’s break this down and examine the biological factors in reference to one of the most physical head to head challenges such as the combat sector.
It has been proven that the female anatomy is more probe to joint injury in comparison with men. Most common injuries are found in the shoulders and knees. Looser supporting tissues found in female shoulder muscles means the joints are less stable when compared to the average males’ shoulders. Furthermore ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which is an alignment within the knee can become torn more so in women than men. However in some sports such as MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) the male athletes push themselves to such limits that this becomes a common problem.
Women physically have more body fat compared to men due to estrogen levels. Among the leanest of the lean in athletics, women competing professionally have approximately 8% of body fat. In comparison, men have approximately 4%. To break this down physically even more so, a wider female pelvis can affect the alignment/movement during sport.
Larger skeletal muscles and larger hearts are directly related to levels of testosterone. For men, Type 2 muscle fibers, which aid in speed, power, and strength are directly related to these muscle fibers. Does stronger mean faster? Well, we’ll need to dive into this a little more and the outcome will always be speculative. Red blood cells which enable more oxygen to be circulated throughout the body, are also directly linked with testosterone. This can and will provide men with more aerobic advantages.
A publication by “The Perspective” states “It’s society’s duty to stop segregation in sports. The socialization of boys and girls with regards to sports differs in so many ways. They’re often funneled into different directions, and their different abilities are heightened before biology makes its first mark. This is a result of historical prejudice, stereotypes and of centuries of discrimination, which shouldn’t be part of modern society.” Yet we have so many professional female athletes that this release is highly arguable.
Simple Facts according to Athlete Assessment:
- 70% of sports now offer the same amount of prize money for men and women. But in the 30% that don’t, the difference runs into the millions.
- There are 2 million more men than women taking part in sport at least once per week.
- 4% of the total commercial investment in sport goes into women’s sport.
- Only half of the governing bodies in sport currently meet the government target to have women making up one quarter of the people sitting around the boardroom table.
- Men’s professional soccer clubs in Europe are the world’s wealthiest sports entities. At least 10 European soccer players earn more than $14 million per year.
- When it comes to women, tennis is by far the most lucrative sport for female athletes.
- Coaches in women’s team sports at college level earn 63 cents for every dollar earned by head Coaches of men’s teams.
Yes, women have more (1) estrogen which means more fat, they have less natural (2) testosterone and they suffer more from sports (3) injuries – but we have women such as Rhonda Rousey who was unbeatable in the world of mixed martial arts. We have Serena Williams in the world of tennis and we have Danica Patrick in the racing sector.
Which is testament that our bodies can evolve based on sports to be the ultimate competitor. It may not be a “fair fight” should men and women compete against each other in a physical brawl, but there are exceptions to nature. With determination, confidence, and the will to reach our objectives – the human body can adapt to all forms of training and be molded though determination and relentlessness.
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