Kim Pacini : Are Boys Really Better At Sports ?


Are Boys Better At Sports ?

There is a misconception that boys are naturally better at sports than girls. This also applies to grown men and women. What is not understood is that there is a difference in physical fitness capacity. Often this is cited as evidence as male’s superiority in athletic prowess. The problem with that argument is that sports are divided by weigh classes. A smaller athlete is not considered less skilled or talented. The comparisons are done of athletes with the highest records. The larger the sample size the greater possibility of overlap. Sports science has a long way to go in designing training programs and meeting women’s nutrition and diet needs for sports competition. Boys and girls can compete on mixed sports teams up to a certain age. Prior to puberty, muscle mass and body size are similar. The myth is that boys are more naturally talented and skilled. The data accumulated from swimming statistics from the University of Indiana demonstrated this. What this means is that girls can physically match boys until the age of 13. Between the ages 8 to 12 girls and boys are at the same strength, speed, and aerobic capacity level. When puberty starts boys gain increased height, body weight, and muscular strength. Oddly, girls and boys may be separated from sports activities. Physical education for girls still differs. Kim Pacini explains why the myth still continues and how it can effect girls negatively.

Many girls may have been discouraged from playing a sport due to gender stereotypes. The frailty myth does not only target adult women, but children. Self-esteem and health habits can be effected. More girls do quit doing sports when puberty occurs. The reasons are not entirely biological. Certain social and cultural conditions make girls drop out of sports participation. The information that the University of Indiana accumulated can be a guideline for separating boys and girls on sports teams. The real challenge is for girls to remain active in a sport in which no female team exists. Tile IX allows them to try out and if they make the team they can play. The challenge for the girl athlete is keeping up in high school, when most teen boys have greater muscle mass. Wrestling, baseball, or football become more difficult for a girl on an team of mostly boys. Going to a college and university to compete would be more physically difficult. The best solution would be to form girls teams for such sports, but sometimes there not enough to participate to make it possible. There are girls who have competed with boys even up to the tertiary school level. How they did it was to compensate skill to account for the difference in muscular strength. Pacini is correct to say that girls are just as capable of being good athletes as boys. Women can be incredible athletes too. Women’s full potential may not be realized due to the fact women were prevented from competition in the past and scientific research on their athletic ability lags behind.

Boys are not stronger than girls. Between birth and through childhood, boys do not have a significant advantage. The increase in testosterone production dramatically increases muscle and bone mass. The strength spurt also enhances a boy’s upper body strength. Kim Pacini explains when puberty happens girls and boys will excel at different physical activity based around physiological changes. Height and weight are effected. Girls complete growth faster, while boys grow slower. The difference in weight happens when the male body accumulates more muscle and bone mass. Puberty enhances physical fitness capacity for boys, but does not do the same for girls. Women have lower muscle mass and bone density. Although their muscles do grow to a degree, a strength spurt is not gained from endocrine changes.

Boys are not stronger than girls. Men are stronger than women on average. The physical strength gap does not appear until a certain age.

From puberty onward, women have to work harder to attain a certain degree of fitness. Biology partly explains why some girls may leave sport. The changes in body composition, the effects of the menstrual cycle , and bone structure may be too much for some girls to keep competing like they once did. Girls who are active in youth early on will notice puberty will slow down their speed. Wider hips along with smaller hearts and lungs explain this. Training can enable girls to improve their performance. However, it must be tailored to particular physiological and individual attributes. Girls should not see the changes of the body from puberty as an awful development. What it means is that girls as they grow into women function in another physiological parameter in relation to athletic performance.

The girl above could easily outwrestle boys at a young age. The changes that come to the male body in relation to height, weight, and muscle mass means a female athlete would struggle competing with a male athlete.

Sports that require more upper body strength can be more difficult for women. That does not mean women cannot excel with the proper training. The case with training youth, there should not be a drastic difference in approach. The physiological attributes that emerge later on are not effecting girls and boys yet. This is why physical education exercises should not be different for youth 3 to 13. Boys and girls have the same physical fitness capacity.

Stopping girls from competing, lack of support, or not teaching physical competence are some sociological explanations for why girls remain less active in sports. Gender stereotypes and cultural pressures also contribute to the problem. Boys are seen as better at sports, even though is based around sex prejudice and traditional gender roles. Boys who are not seen as competent at sports are viewed as less masculine, while girls with athletic talent are seen as less feminine. Sports may not interest every boy. Girls might want to play sports. Thankfully, there are more open minded views about women and girls should be allowed to do. It cannot be said that an entire group is terrible at something when the playing field is not fair. Title IX has done much to reverse this. However, there is still much to be done. While girls are involved in sports coaching becomes another aspect to consider.

The concern is that there are not enough female coaches or physical educators to guide girls. Another problem is that girls may be getting treated differently.

Some are opposed to co-ed sports for boys and girls, because they think it will harm a boys psyche. Losing to a girl was considered a humiliation. That was because the word girl was associated with weakness and physical inferiority. The sports world has a long history of sexism that it struggles to overcome. School sports are not immune either. Girls were and in some cases continue to be given a different standard of physical education.

The problem with physical education is that girls are given a lower standard. This is done at a young age when physical fitness is similar between boys and girls. The only reason to do so is when the physiological effects of puberty happen. A girl and boy could do the same amount of push-ups or pull-ups. When it comes to running boys do not yet have a Vo2max advantage. Based on the endocrine system and the musculoskeletal mass girls should be able to meet the same exercise standards. Making lower standards for girls is not following rational sports science. The only reason to have such a policy is based around certain gender beliefs. The frailty myth and weak sex stereotype still has an influence on medicine, health science, and sports. The assumption is that girls and women are weak. Therefore, they cannot excel at sports. Exercise physiology, sports medicine, and anatomy proves this idea wrong. Pacini explains these ideas have been taught and its discourages girls from participating in sports. Women may not attempt exercise, because of what was said or experienced in childhood.

The physical education standards should not be different for boys and girls. Difference in body size and height become a factor in adolescence.

Telling girls they do not have ability or the right to play discourages them. The effect on health may mean less physical activity later in life. While physical education may not seem as important as other subjects, it does provide vital knowledge about exercise and health science. Life spans could increase in the future and maintaining good health becomes critical. Obesity, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia are aliments that can strike in advanced age. Exercise could be a means of prevention.

What must be done is readjustment of exercise and physical education guidelines. Girls can do the same exercises and play the same sports as boys. Sports for youth still remains divided among sex. The boys are either playing football or baseball. Girls are directed mostly to gymnastics or softball. Children can start doing some low level athletic training. Resistance exercise can be done. There are basic guidelines to follow. Age 7 or young can learn basic exercises. The age 8 to 10 group can advance slightly. The age 11 to 13 group will have the..

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