Are Boys Stronger Than Girls Before Puberty?

It is assumed that boys would be stronger than girls on average. After all, men are on average stronger than women. This is not true when examining children. Their bodies have not fully matured to full growth. Therefore boys and girls can be close in terms of physical fitness levels. Their still is the notion that boys would just be stronger , because they are male. The divergence occurs at puberty when body composition changes due to the influence of particular hormones. The production of androgens allows for more muscle mass, while estrogens produce more fat. There are also genetic factors that contribute to strength potential. Then we cannot ignore some environmental factors. This is probably the only stage in which the sexes without extra physical training,  are evenly matched in terms of physical strength.

Here this video shows boys and girls arm wrestling. While not a complete measure of total body strength, the boys are not as dominant. 

The idea of female physical inferiority seems to be promoted even when facts debunk such claims. Physical education for girls has lower standards, even though it is not necessary. Boys and girls  who have not reached puberty have a similar body composition. One issue that has been noted is that girls do not engage in the same amount of physical activity. Boys are encouraged to be in football, basketball, little league baseball, and soccer. Girls are directed toward something within the realms of traditional femininity. Girls as they age become even more physically inactive. This can in the future have negative consequences for women’s health. The problem is that gym teachers do not engage girls to be active. Girls may feel pressure not to engage in sport because of ostracism and social barriers. The expectation for girls in terms of performance is low. Even the Presidential Physical Fitness Test has this belief.

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Boys and girls at childhood can compete with each other in sport, because their bodies are of a similar size. Making fitness standards different  at this stage represents bias. This link https://www.presidentschallenge.org/challenge/physical/award-benchmarks-low-vision-alt.shtml shows the the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. Take note of the different standards at the ages 7 to 13. 

Children at this stage have not achieved full bone mass. By the time they reach adolescence hormones will allow for a growth spurt. There are numerous changes during the human life cycle, but puberty is significant because it marks the transition into adulthood.

        Puberty is a human life cycle stage in which the body becomes fully mature. Boys and girls will become adults capable of sexual reproduction. This is the point in which there is a gap in physical strength. Hormones will alter a boy’s body composition. The hypothalamus will release GnRH (gonadrotropic releasing hormone) and then instruct the anterior pituitary gland to produce two gonadtropic hormones. The follicle stimulating hormone makes the testis to produce sperm. The relevant hormone to body composition is luteinizing hormone. LH controls androgen production by means of the leydig cells. These cells are located in the spaces of the seminiferous tubules. Luteinizing hormone is present in females, but they produce another type of hormone. The ovaries produce estrogens (and progestrone). Testosterone allows for greater muscle mass, while estrogen allows for more fat composition . Puberty can start at different ages ( precocious and delayed puberty), but on average it is between the ages 11 to 17. Girls start earlier and still have an equivalent level of strength. However, by age 17 puberty is complete and men’s testosterone level peak at 20. Women do not gain more strength unless they engage in physical activity.Testosterone increases tenfold during puberty. The shoulders become broader as well as the chest. The skeleton gains more mass and gradually denser than before. Knowing this, boys and girls are on a similar level between the ages 1 to 13. The 40% increase in muscle mass in males during the teenage years make it difficult for girls to compete with them. It makes no sense to have separate boys or girls teams for swimming, baseball, football, or soccer at childhood. Lower physical standards for girls is ludicrous, because males have not achieved their total body mass.

estrogen

This sex hormone mainly produces fat.

        There are exceptions to the rule. Women now have the opportunities to build strength that they did not have previously. Everyone is not an athlete, but an improve their fitness through a regular exercise regimen. Both men and women who have genetic potential can surpass most of the population in physical contest. Physiologists and sports scientists have been examining particular genes that may be linked to athletic performance. Even though science has discredited the conviction of the physical inferiority of women, it still remains. Some are so convinced they believe that any man (without skill or training) could beat a woman of a high physical fitness level. That is not true.

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This ten year old girl Niomi Kutin broke a weightlifting record. Find out more: :http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2118133/Schoolgirl-10-breaks-world-weightlifting-record-heaving-TWICE-bodyweight.html

It would be difficult to find an average man would could beat Serena Williams at tennis or out run Camelita Jeter. Niomi Kutin a young child was able to break a weightlifting record by lifting 215 pounds. This girl is certainly stronger than most boys. She could possibly continue to be stronger as she matures into adulthood. She comes from a family that has been involved in strength sports for years. It is obvious that her ability is both genetic and training based. Some would just assume without knowing her talent that a boy would be stronger than her. This would be a possibility if he began the same training.Strength is not a male only characteristic. Women can gain strength, but it will take more effort and diligence to do so.

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Myogenesis functions the same for males and females. Due to endocrinology, males find it easier to develop muscle. 

For a while some girls may have an advantage. Their growth spurt starts earlier. So for a brief period during their teens girls would be taller. Boys will gradually catch up and surpass women in height. Muscle size is not the only factor in strength. Weight and height do play a role. Force equals mass times acceleration and therefore would mean that someone with more mass could generate more force. It is not impossible that a woman that weighs more could generate more force than a man of a lower weight.There can be over lap in this pattern. Some women who are naturally strong could be able to compete with some men on their athletic level. Rare as this is it is not impossible. Boys and girls at a young age are still developing basic motor skills and body coordination. Boys would not be naturally stronger at this stage. Then one must consider that body type is hereditary. Athletic women have been known to have naturally mesomorphic body types.

Sex differences Time

Culturally strength is seen as a male attribute and has been seen as negative for women. Boys are encouraged to be active, while girls are encouraged to passive.

Another consideration is learned skills. Boys are taught these skills more so than girls. This is gradually changing in some societies. Pure strength alone does not produce a quality athlete. Part of the effort is the amount of diligence and dedication put into a training regimen.

       After examining the stages of child physical development it is true that girls and boys do not differ in strength levels. At some point children will get a growth spurt. This happens at different stages of puberty. Girls complete their skeletal growth earlier, while boys gain it in the later stages. The surge in strength reaches an apex in males around age 20 and will gradually decrease with age. Testosterone is one of many  factors that is critical to strength . Young boys would not be producing enough to be stronger than girls. Mixed competition at this stage seems fair and evenly matched. Boys at this point do not have the extra muscle and bone mass advantage. Physical education programs should take not of this fact and not lower the standards for girls. Prior to puberty it is clear that their is little disparity in terms of performance. This changes in adulthood, but women are not fated to be weak. With enough exercise a woman can develop more physical strength.

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Are Boys Stronger Than Girls Before Puberty?

3 thoughts on “Are Boys Stronger Than Girls Before Puberty?

  1. turner says:

    The seemingly streightforward question “So,did you want to test your physical strength through having a wrestling match with a girl of your age when you were twelve?”sends me into a quanrary.Well, yes,I did.Being rather a puny person,I needed to have my male status proved then. However,the very notion of me being defeated by a girl-especially in front of beholders-was unbearable and frightened me so much that I would have rather avoided having the match as well as any other strength competitions with her even if she had suggested herself to me that we have that kind of thingsThe male ego is thought to have been a really fragile substance.
    Any way,I am of the opinion that when a boy gets into a strength contest with a girl he initially puts himself in a disadvantageous and vulnerable position: his success gives him no credits,but his failure can create some negative things such as humiliation,bewilderment and emasculation.So,a boy has the burden of having to think twice before taking on girls.

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    1. The possibility of losing to a girl should not frighten a boy. The fact is if your opponent is skilled, then their should be no shame. This macho man archetype that we try to mold boys into may not be healthy to their psyche. The feelings of emasculation are really just products of ridged gender conformity. Frankly, we need to change the way boys and girls view one another.

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  2. turner says:

    The seemingly streightforward question “So,did you want to test your physical strength through having a wrestling match with a girl of your age when you were twelve?”sends me into a quandary.Well, yes,I did.Being rather a puny person,I needed to have my male status proved then. However,the very notion of me being defeated by a girl-especially in front of beholders-was unbearable and frightened me so much that I would have rather avoided having the match as well as any other strength competitions with her even if she had suggested herself to me that we have that kind of thingsThe male ego is thought to have been a really fragile substance.
    Any way,I am of the opinion that when a boy gets into a strength contest with a girl he initially puts himself in a disadvantageous and vulnerable position: his success gives him no credits,but his failure can create some negative things such as humiliation,bewilderment and emasculation.So,a boy has the burden of having to think twice before taking on girls.

    Like

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