Friday, February 19, 2021

Women and men in sports

I've grumped before that it doesn't make sense to fret about "discrimination" against women in sports that are designed for men. If you want to watch women's soccer, fine, but don't be surprised if people who like the athleticism of the game gravitate to the teams that do it faster and more powerfully--the men. If the sport involves speed or power, men will generally do better--so the men's team will get more viewers.

So, in what sport-skills can women do as well or better? Endurance? In long distance swimming in cold water, they do better than men. Unfortunately that's not very action-packed--unless you are competing.

Precision?

Women do as well with a rifle as men, but not as well with a pistol, which is probably due to men's greater strength--they are holding a heavy gun out in the air. With a rifle you have more ways to get the rest of your body involved.

Women don't do quite as well in archery, possibly because men pull heavier bows which means faster arrows which means less wind deflection.

Can somebody think of some competitive events (not subjective, please--no dressage or ice dancing) that aren't speed and strength based?

6 comments:

Donna B. said...

The only ones I can think of involve downhill skiing and I'm not sure about those because I don't know how much difference body weight makes in gaining/controlling speed.

james said...

It seems to matter for some courses.

Donna B. said...

Interesting, but it's now got me wondering about the average physique of both male and female skiers. I suspect there would be a slight benefit to being shorter on a slalom. There would definitely be a disadvantage for a larger muscular build. Weightlifters don't do gymnastics well and I think skiing is closer to gymnastics. Thus, skiing is 'friendlier' to females because they aren't as likely to be too large or to develop overly large muscles. The disadvantage for females in skiing might be in the shape/configuration of the skeleton - not weight, muscle, or stamina.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Chess. I suppose that doesn't count.

james said...

With O(10) times more men than women (14% women last year--a record high), you're more likely to find good male players than good female ones, but just quickly looking at the stats suggests to me that the skill distributions aren't the same. So women's chess tournaments are probably going to continue.
Any of the competitors, male or female, would whip me in chess...

Unknown said...

Diving