Women Rate The Strongest Men As The Most Attractive Study Finds (2017)

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Women Like Strong Men ?

This study may seem frivolous, but it tells much about gender politics. Body image, gender, and how the sexes are treated are related to appearance to an extent. What is known is that women can also be shallow although this accusation is directed at men. However, before taking this study as scientific fact, it should be noted the sample only contained 160 women. If a wider sample was used results also could possibly vary among choices. If there is a mechanism that influences women selection of boyfriends and husbands it seems to be contrary to feminist proclamations. The sudden vociferous chants and criticism of toxic masculinity become problematic if women are attracted to these attributes. Gender equality may not be feasible due to female behavior if this study is correct. The conundrum is what would be the explanation of women and men who deviate from this pattern. The lugubrious realization may be that our concept of love does not exist. Sex selection may just be a driving force rather than our free will. Humanity may not be able to change its behavior if its biologically based. Yet, the impact of environment is a significant one. It should be assumed that the women making the choices in the experiment were partially influenced by the cultures they were raised in. The goal of the study was to see how such preferences evolved over the millions of years of human evolution.

         If women like the strongest men, the question arises why are there some that deviate from the pattern? The reverse is that their are men who show a predilection for women who are physically strong. Are these just random anomalies or a means of maintaining genetic diversity? The idea would be that the strongest men would have access to most females and be successful at spreading their genes. Physical strength may have been a indicator to women of good health. Yet, the risk is that in an ecosystem a species becomes so copious that it goes over the carrying capacity. The result would be either extinction or possible reduction due to predators. Humanity does not have a natural predator. Since the days of the paleolithic civilization has made humankind the most successful species on the planet.

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The reason sex selection may have worked in favor of stronger men was due to the harsh realities of survival. Hominids were not the dominant species. Predators and limited food supplies could be a threat. The rise of civilization meant that gradually brute strength was not as big a factor in survival. Hunting and gathering gave way to farming. Muscle power was replaced with technological power. Marriage emerged in civilization as more so a property arrangement. Women in most cultures were subject to arranged marriage. The women in the 21st century have a choice in who their partners are. It seems that certain men would be at a disadvantage with this change. It has been harder for men to establish relationships. Having low status or simply no luck makes the situation worse. Women will in comparison face less rejection and have greater variety of choice. Men who have money, power, and high status gain more access to women compared to men who do not. This scenario would make muscles meaningless. Love really does not exist, rather it is a feeling that is operating in the context of natural and sex selection.

        The experiment should not be taken immediately as fact. The study published in Proceedings in   Royal Society B has some issues. The subjects were college aged women and no other demographic. It is possible that tastes could change with age. Aaron Lukaszewski the author is an evolutionary psychologist.  Psychology does have a history of using anthropometry to rank human beings. The most egregious case was that of William Sheldon in the 1940s under his concept of constitutional psychology. There is some element of truth that women may prefer men of certain body type. However, that does not apply to every woman on Earth. The images of men were taken from men at the university gym(60 total)  and 130 students from psychology courses.  When the images were presented it only showed torsos. Faces were not presented. Normally, people may find multiple features attractive rather than just one body part. Hiding the faces may have effected how the women rated men in attractiveness. The men’s physical strength was measured by weightlifting machines, grip strength tests, and other techniques. Hand grip may not be as precise as weightlifting. People were then asked to guess the men’s strength, but this may not be as close as one would think. There was a match between their guess and measurements, yet it may not be as precise due to the inclusion of hand grip strength. There is a bias directed at most muscular men. It was implied in the study that there is a line that women would draw in which men were too muscular. They are obviously referring to bodybuilders calling them “cartoonishly exaggerated.”  This contradicts the thesis, because men of that size would be stronger than the ones in the study and would therefore be the most attractive to women.

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The hypothesis would have to be rephrased. Women like strong women with a certain degree of musculature. At this point the argument seems to descend into generalities and ambiguous territory. We should assume that the extremely pumped up men have very little difficulty attracting women. It should also be noted that the author of the study is male and he may be presenting male body ideals that he had seen as a child. It cannot be ignored that biology still influences human behavior and actions. Environment is also a powerful factor as well. Evolutionary psychologists point out that women’s preference for physically strong men was rooted in survival. Before civilization a strongman would be a useful protector of women and children. They could be hunters and provide more social benefits. Strongmen could be useful and expendable in fights against other tribes of people. Women could watch men compete for them and gain more material reward with little effort or danger to themselves. Others dispute this theory mainly, because the early hominid species were never subject to naturalistic observation.

        Body image and beauty is not universal. Even among individuals it varies immensely. Lisa Wade a sociologist who teaches at the Occidental College in Los Angeles states one should not be so fast to attribute preferences to evolution only. A certain type of male body and female body is idolized compared to others. Women have been rejecting the thin body type through a body positive movement. Men are still stuck in a one dimensional image of masculinity. The image of strong muscular man is seen on magazines, TV, comics, and film. Many men do not fit into this image. Only a small minority of professional athletes do. The rise in muscle dysmorphia has caused men to have an unhealthy obsession about being big. Physiques that are very athletic are difficult to obtain. Third wave  feminists often recognize the harm body image conformity does to women, but rarely care about its effects on men. This is a time period in which masculine identity may be in some crisis and its effects could be devastating for society. Poor self image and mental health issues will increase. A society cannot be functional if the men in it are not. The accusation that men are more swallow is discredited, when it is realized women reject more men than accept them.

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The type of man women would most likely reject.

 

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Men are now investing as much as women in their appearance. Many men will not be able to attain certain physiques presented in mass media.
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Men who look a certain way may have an easier time getting women.

If  third wave feminists are devoted to equality, then they should be able to address this problem as well. Mass media and images are powerful. Lisa Wade notes that 100 years ago the body ideals were different. Over the centuries beauty standards have changed. The new phenomenon is that there is a demand for body image conformity. Now it effects  both sexes.

       Gender cannot be ignored in this study. It is clear that one image of masculinity is being indirectly idolized, with some even realizing it. There is a gender hierarchy that operates in society. Men are at the top and women are placed second. The non-binary or people with different sexual orientation are either excluded or ostracized. The men who are powerful get more privileges in the gender hierarchy. Physical strength was more of a benefit in a world that was not based on technology or civilization. Weapons negated pure brute strength, which means there was reorganization of society. The men who have the most wealth and political authority became the rulers of the world. Women were denied access to the public sphere and were regulated to a secondary status in the gender hierarchy. This was only challenged in the 19th and 20th century with the first, second, and third wave feminism. Even with these changes the image of the macho man survived. At many times it underwent a revival. Critics make the mistake of calling this toxic masculinity, but rather it is machismo. There is nothing wrong with masculinity. Machismo is more about degrading women, being homophobic, and being domineering of most people. Those negative attributes have nothing to do with masculinity. The gender hierarchy depends on some level of machsimo to ensure its survival. This study could be unintentionally embracing some elements of  machismo.

        Women choosing a certain type of man is not the issue. The problem is the risk that comes with women selecting men who are much more physically powerful. Domestic violence and sexual assault are real threats to women. The majority of cases of violence directed at women occur from men they know. If women are more willing to gravitate to men who are stronger than them  it increases their risk of being harmed.  Abusive relationships do not always involve physical assault. They can be verbal or psychological attacks. There are a number of reasons why women remain in such relationships. Relevant to this study women may be more willing to accept abuse from men they believe have good looks and power. As long as female behavior does not change a disturbing cycle of abuse will continue.

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This also explains why rich powerful men are able to avoid punishment for sexual harassment and assault.  If the #Me Too movement cannot acknowledge that female behavior must change as well women may still find themselves victim to abuse. Male behavior must change, but women’s predilection to being attracted to domineering and abuse men must end. Otherwise gender equality and the #Me Too movement is an exercise in futility. This is the one subject that most people ignore when discussing gender based violence. The tendency is to confuse it with victim blaming. It is not, rather using preventative measures to ensure security. There may just be no way to prevent this. No amount of feminism can change human biology. When may have an instinct to be with the strongest and aggressive man, because sex selection is such a powerful force. True love or love in general may not exist. The human motivation is simply to make offs spring to propagate certain genes.

        The study has not produced a cross cultural evaluation. It was done with college students from a university. So there could be hope yet for the vast a majority of average males. The study could produce different results depending on age, country, race, and religion. The faces were not in view of  the female observers. Facial appearance may also influence attractiveness. When a person rates another’s attractiveness they do not just look at one part of the body. Most of it is observed by a person who shows interest. There may not be one secret or universal answer to what is collectively considered beautiful. If this was discovered it would most likely make people feel defeated. The modern world has made dating more difficult. Algorithms utilized on dating websites are picking couples rather than people doing it themselves. Some men and women face so much rejection it turns them to extreme fringe groups. Incels, MGTOW, and femcels would not exist if people were not so lonely or constantly repudiated. It effects men worse, because women do not have to make too much effort to start a relationship. Nature has made women extremely picky in an evolutionary sense. The only reason a woman remains single is because she wants to be. Women exhibit shallowness although they do not acknowledge it as such.  Loneliness continues to grow in a number of countries and its simple to see why. Maybe it is better to be happy with one’s self rather than pursue a relationship or marriage. Free will seems to be more of an imaginary concept when behavior is dictated by natural and sex selection.

Women Rate The Strongest Men As The Most Attractive Study Finds (2017)

Me Write Good Blog – The Simpsons ” Strong Arms of The Ma” (2012)

 

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The Simpsons has been on the air for 30 years, reaching another milestone. This was no simple feat. It ushered in an era of adult animation which has continued through the decades. When it premiered in 1989, there were few cartoons on prime time. The Flintstones  was the first prime time animated show broadcast back in 1960. This is not the first time that its 300th episode was discussed here. This review provides a different analysis than others. There is of course debate among fans about the quality of seasons past 12. Some say it has declined and others state it still the same show it was. Certainly, if a series has produced 674 episodes, every single one is not going to be great. This depends on the plot and writing. “The Strong Arms of the Ma” can be criticized for some flaws and praised on it strengths (quite literally). The Me Write Good Blog has some valid points, but others can be confuted. The episode did have a positive story about Marge overcoming fear and getting stronger. Yet, then it descended into a if  woman gets too much power than she abuses it trope. This odd message seems to be more conservative in how women should look and behave. The author seems to agree with this point in the review. Maybe we just should not take a cartoon or comedy too seriously. The current era of woke culture and cancel culture may be harming entertainment itself. The recent Apu controversy is just a reflection of that. An episode like this may not get made today. However, it is worth revisiting. There is a love hate relationship with it that many fans have.

     The reviewer makes it known is he not a fan of muscular Marge. He even admits he was dreading watching the episode because of the design change. The fear induced in him a “roided up Muscular Marge filled with rage.” This seems like an overreaction considering she only get aggressive at the end of the episode. It was actually justified when Moe made a rude comment about her appearance. What The Simpsons did in this episode was to take every negative stereotype about female bodybuilders and make fun of them. Some are so overused they become tired. These images include that of a sexually aggressive , steroid using, unfeminine, and pugnacious woman. Marge really does not become unfeminine and only got aggressive when attacked at Moe’s Bar. The muscular woman induces feeling of fear, disgust, and even hate in some people. Women with power are seen as threats and women with physical power upset notions about gender roles. Physical strength still is seen as male only and women who attain it are condemned. Marge does not look that terrible only bigger and physically more powerful. The problem is that with her new found strength she becomes a bully. This seems to be the irrational fear that men have. If women get too much power they will become abusive toward men. Much of Marge’s bullying happens off screen accept the infamous bedroom scene with Homer, which still generates controversy with some fans.

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The fact that in the show and fans in real life react to the design change shows just how women’s bodies come under extra scrutiny. The demand that all women look a certain way is sexism, but it has become acceptable. Marge does not appear ugly or so extreme that Homer would stop loving her. While a vast majority of Simpsons characters are stereotypes, it seems the female bodybuilders are subject to more cruel remarks. The announcer at the female bodybuilding contest says ” know meet the ladies that our doctors assure as are women, the iron maidens.” It is a joke, but based in prejudice. The women that compete sculpt bodies of a certain aesthetic. It may not be attractive to some. They are not competing to please or get the attention of men. The design of Marge is not the problem , rather her personality. It can be blamed on the drugs. It was just out of character for her. Only when Homer talks to her to calming down does she go back into her character. The destruction of the weigh set was more telling. The steroids were what made her more aggressive so it would make sense to dispose of those. The destruction of the weight set seems more like an indirect message that a woman who is too strong is undesirable. Marge says “you know I really do missing being a lady.” Well she never stopped. People judge women by a different standard. Being different makes a person subject to ridicule. Strong Marge was a fun concept, which was really a highlight often ignored about this episode.

         One of the few positive aspects of this episode is that it demonstrates that Marge can be a fun character. The antics normally come from Bart or Homer and sometimes the progressive rebel Lisa. Marge may have fewer episodes compared to other characters simply because fans may think she cannot be interesting. This episode was a different experiment. What would be considered a straight man ( or rather straight woman character ) flips into. What can be praised is that there is a depiction of physically strong women in show that rarely does it. The Simpsons has always been good at creating secondary and one shot characters. This episode did a good job with its one shot female characters. While certain jokes may not have shown female bodybuilders in a positive light at least there is some visibility. That is what the critics of Apu do not understand. The character can be changed to address racial stereotyping issues, but making him disappear does not help. Hopefully, Hank Azaria will reprise the role of Apu. This can also be applied to female characters in any medium.

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Do not be afraid to try something different with them. Specifically with animation do not be hesitant to utilize a variety of character designs. This was the fist time The Simpsons depicted highly muscular women and the designs were great. Seeing as there are no plans to end the series anytime soon, there are opportunities for more experimentation. These nameless background characters most likely will not be seen again. They did have potential. The woman who sang “The Who Shot Liberty Valence”  and the woman lifting the piano were the best bits of the contest scene. Nameless characters sometimes reemerge in background shots. It would be worth it to bring back the two just for the sake of having more of a variety of female characters. The wonderful thing about the The Simpsons   is that it proves female characters can be interesting.

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Ruth powers is one of those under used characters that reappears in this episode. Although much more muscular her new backstory was that she won Ms.Mexican mafia. Ruth did this while in prison. The unfortunate reality of female characters is that they are never given too often strange or unusual backstories. Marge over the past 30 years has become more than just a typical house wife. She’s been an activist, real estate agent, and cop. The 300th episode had her do the craziest things yet. Who would have thought that the humble housewife would beat up her own mugger and trash all the guys at Moe’s Bar ? It is good that the writers explore Marge’s character and what she can do. Too often female characters are either stock ones or the typical voice of reason and ethics. It is nice to see deviation from that.

           There were flaws with this episode. The first is that it seems disjointed. The agoraphobia theme could have been its own stand alone episode. The bodybuilding theme could have been another. While some jokes are funny, its not season one to ten quality. The odd mixed message of drugs are bad seems irrelevant to other subjects in “The Strong Arms of the Ma.” The story is not as solid as Me Write Good Blog suggests. That is way there is sort of a love hate relationship some fans would have with this episode. The concept of strong Marge is an awesome one, but her being drunk on power is not. Bullying or being mean spirited is just not part of her character. The strong women domineering men stereotype has been so overused. One could look at it from another perspective saying that it could be male sexual fantasy. The way it is normally presented in popular culture is a bad thing or being against a man’s will if they are intimate. The Marge forces herself on Homer scene is tasteless. However, comedy does tend to push appropriate boundaries.

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Sorry Family Guy, even The Simpsons did it.
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The infamous scene that has become controversial among fans.
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American Dad’s portrayal seemed to be a break from the common narrative about muscular women.

That is the point of vibrant entertainment. It goes beyond safe spaces or what makes people comfortable. The scene probably would not be done in 2020 considering #Me Too. Maybe it would, seeing as it is a man abused and rarely is that a concern for third wave feminists. There are multiple issues with the episode, yet it cannot be hated completely. The worst episode in the entire series was “Lisa Goes Gaga.” This season 14 episode did not reach that level.Some  fans may say the The Simpsons best years are behind them and other still watch. It could be that in the 2000s the show made some changes and did experimentation. People rarely react positively to change in something they like. The changes were made out of practicality seeing as it did not want to get stale or repetitive. Seasons 13 and 14 was a period in which The Simpsons went through a modernizing process. The modern era Simpsons differs from its 1989 to 2003 stage. Plots are more antics based, compared with the more traditional sitcom character focused format. Occasionally in recent seasons, they seem to switch between the two. “Strong Arms of the Ma” is an example of the show doing antics based plots combined with character focus. This experiment does not always work, yet sometimes it does produce an entertaining episode. The 300th episode does not execute this well. It may not have re-watch value and still it can have some positive attributes. The series is now in its 31st season and it is uncertain it will end. Rumors of another film being produced have been circulating, so it appears The Simpsons will be around for awhile.

Me Write Good Blog – The Simpsons ” Strong Arms of The Ma” (2012)

Feministing: Women in Sports- Why Can’t Women Compete With Men ?

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Why Can’t Women Compete Against Men in Sports?

Feministing was an online community website that discussing women’s rights and ideology. It ran from 2010 to 2020 covering topics from politics, popular culture, and contemporary issues. The online community was targeted at a younger demographic. The site also encourage grassroots activism. Users could also contribute to the community blog. There was one short post that by Vicky Chatwin that is of interest. A simple question is proposed : why can’t women compete against men in sports ? The author even notes the most obvious reason. The impact of sexual dimorphism influences physical fitness capacity. There are obviously exceptions and cases of overlap. Chatwin’s argument is that by having women’s leagues this constitutes sex segregation. The second case is that it is denying women equal opportunity. Then there are some feminists who think that sex differences are nothing more than sociological constructions. Biology is not a sociological construction, yet third wave feminists want to dispute known facts about sexual dimorphism. Women can compete in mixed competitions if they have the skill and physicality to do so.  Having women’s divisions is not discriminatory nor is it excluding women.

          The most elite women in sports would not be able to physically challenge the elite men. Physical strength differences and body size give men in advantage. Sports such as boxing, weightlifting, or powerlifting require certain amounts of muscular strength. Studies have shown that women may have advantages in muscular endurance and oxygen utilization.  It has been theorized that women may have an edge when it comes to running in marathons. Sprinting which requires more muscular strength, women do not perform the same as men. Depending on the sport, there is a different level of skill and fitness required to master it. The skills of tennis differ from that of soccer. Being just strong and fast does not automatically make a person a great athlete. Men have more muscle and bone mass making their physical fitness capacity higher than women on the same training regimen. Women’s bodies can experience muscular hypertrophy, but not to the same degree as a man. This is related to endocrine function and the amount of natural strength prior to exercise. If men have more muscle to start off with training adds to their strength.

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Pelvis shape, lung and heart size have an effect on total running speed.
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On average men weigh more and are taller.
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Women’s records at the highest level reach the 250 kg range.

Women still retain more fat mass in comparison to their male counterparts. The structure of male and female bodies differs. Men have broader shoulders and more upper body strength. Women have wider pelvises. That makes running speed slower.  Heart and lung size are smaller in women which effects VO2max. Accounting for body size, women weigh less. These sex differences in physiology and anatomy would make it hard for the vast majority of elite female athletes to keep up with males on their level. This would mean there would be fewer women competing in sports being a part of men’s divisions. Chatwin states ”   I know the usual arguments – men are bigger and stronger, it’s not fair to women – but how true is this?” in the opening paragraph. She then provides a personal anecdote that she has seen women who beat men easily at sports. Oddly, She does not mention which ones. The biological factor is a big one when discussing sports performance. There is truth to this up to a certain age. Women competing with men in sports also raises safety concerns.

     Women competing with men in sports raises safety concerns. If male bodies are bigger and stronger, women could get seriously injured. Contact sports from this perspective would be difficult for women to compete with men in.   For younger children its not an issue because their bodies have finished developing. Boys and girls can compete in mixed competition. The physical changes brought about by puberty is what causes the strength gap. Women’s skeletons and muscles do grow, but they do not experience the dramatic strength spurts of men.  Around age 13, the strength gap appears between the sexes. This is why it is ludicrous to keep girls off of boys sports teams. Boys and girls between the ages of 1 to 12 have no difference in physical fitness capacity. What some third wave feminist fail to realize is just how wide the difference in physicality can be after the physiological changes during puberty. The average man has more strength compared to the average woman. A woman how trains seriously can either attain the strength of a man who does not train or be close to it. The strongest trained male could possibly be stronger than most  women.

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Samantha Gordon plays football at age nine. At this stage she would have no trouble competing with boys, because puberty has not effected the musculoskeletal system.
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This really is not much of surprise if a person has a basic understanding of anatomy.
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Women have to train harder to attain a certain physical fitness level. Even with all this effort the results are not the same.

Rugby, football, ice hockey, mixed martial arts, wrestling, lacrosse, and roller derby are sports that involved huge amounts of body force.  If women if at their highest level of fitness can have the strength of an average man or slightly above, the risk for injury could be higher. Boxing would be impossible for women to compete with men considering the difference in upper body strength. The only way such matches in contact sports to work is if men were restricted from using their full physical force. All sports are not contact based. Race car driving or equestrian sport does not reliant on muscle power. Semi-contact sports may see a few women able to compete.

       Having women’s sports divisions does not constitute sex segregation. Unlike Jim Crow America and apartheid South Africa these governance systems were designed to oppress. It was not only to control a population based on because of their race, it was also to isolate them from the wider society. Women’s divisions and sports teams are the opposite. They allow more women to compete. The differences in speed and physical strength between the sexes is the reason there is separation. Looking beyond sex, this is why their are weight classes between athletes. Boxing does this with lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight athletes. Wrestling also has weight classes. This is not segregation of smaller athletes, rather giving them a platform to compete. Otherwise, the biggest and strongest people would always dominate sports. The separation is more of a matter of weight class. This does not mean smaller athletes or women are inferior. It is an attempt to make competition fair. The only way discrimination could occur is if a skilled female player is qualified to play on a men’s team is denied. If a woman can handle the physical demands and has the talent, there is no legitimate reason to deny her an opportunity to play.

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Stephanie Labbe was banned from playing on the Canadian men’s soccer team. This would be an example of discrimination.
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Clearly a weight advantage requires different divisions.
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Overlap is possible depending on the woman’s physiology.

There also is another counter argument to this. If women can compete on men’s teams then can men play on women’s teams ? The question becomes complex if one wants to make competition fair. The reality is that competition is not completely fair because each person may have a unique physical advantage. If a person is devoted to full equality, then it should function the same for both sexes. Title IX ensures that girls get access to sports in schools and few states have restrictions on boys playing on girls teams in America. There are no restrictions on women competing in men’s divisions in the Olympics. The only restriction is the ruling on the amount of testosterone a woman’s body produces. This ruling has been debated and criticized in terms of its scientific foundation. Such a ruling must be discarded altogether, considering athletes cannot help the way they were naturally born. Women’s teams are not an example of sex segregating, rather an expansion of women’s participation in sport.

    Women have already competed with men in sports. Mixed sport is more of an integrated model of  competition. Tennis, badminton.  korfball. mixed pairs bodybuilding,  and swimming  have done pioneered this. Pairs of men and women compete in what is a perfect example of inclusion. This should be what third wave feminists support.  Power feminists however take a less harmonious approach. Competing with men is not about equality, rather they just want to attain more power.Some want all the power and influence in particular areas. This does not appeal to the majority of women who rather see men as their equals and partners. Excessive girl power has become more confrontational, rather than celebrating women’s achievements.

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Mixed sports may become more prevalent in the future. Mixed relays are going to make a debut at the Olympics. This seems like a significant development in terms of promoting equal exposure of athletes regardless of sex.  The third wave feminist narrative as men being all antagonist falls apart, when some men see women’s participation as a positive development. The biggest problem for women in sports is not that they are in separate leagues. Unequal pay, lack of media exposure, and sex prejudice are the biggest concerns.

       There is nothing really stopping certain female athletes from competing with men. Sports organizations can ban them from doing so. This is an obvious act of sex discrimination. There are cases in which girls have to compete with boys seeing as there are no girls teams in certain schools. Wrestling and football have some girls playing with boys in elementary and middle school. Their competitive years could end by high school seeing as boys are experiencing the increase in fitness capacity from puberty. Girls would not be able to keep up seeing as they do not make significant strength gains. The only solution would be to build a girls team, so female athletes could continue to compete. If women had to try out for teams with mostly males, it would reduce the total number of women competing. It could be done with sports that do not require an immense amount of brute strength. Race car driving, equestrian sport, gymnastics, and marathon running could be sports in which women could compete directly. Certainly, there are women who can compete with men. The system that is place is more about placing athletes in a weight class, rather than their sex. The growth of more women’s teams or leagues is not hindering women. It enables them to be on a competitive platform.

Feministing: Women in Sports- Why Can’t Women Compete With Men ?

The Best Way To Improve Muscle Strength (2016)

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Best Way To Improve Strength

A study by Human Performance and Neuromuscular Physiology at Loughborough University may have found an efficient way to improve muscle strength. There continues to be debate on what is the best way to improve muscular strength. What Dr. Jonathan Folland suggests from the study was that short bursts of contractions lasting one second can help. Sustained three second contractions can also contribute to muscular strength. Strength training has multiple applications related to health and treatment of disease. Rehabilitation and the treatment of osteoarthritis strength training has become a solution. Athletes looking to improve their performance incorporate it into their training. There was at time in which some athletes believed that using weights would harm their performance. The scientific data proves the opposite and there is more to learn. The study claims ”  the results showed that explosive contractions are an easier and less tiring way of increasing strength and functional capacity of the muscles, and therefore a highly efficient method of training.”  The role of the nervous system was not ignored. Apparently, the nervous system can switch on trained muscles. This makes sense seeing as the nervous system is responsible for both voluntary and involuntary movements. The traditional method was to train the muscle to the point of tiring. This method is used more for making muscles larger, rather than stronger. Some get confused when a person that appears bigger may not be able to lift as much as a smaller person. Training for aesthetics and performance are two different fitness goals. A fitness regimen may not require an individual to train to a high degree of exhaustion.

          The experiment used  a total of 43 men who were in their twenties. All were in good health condition. None had been through lower body training or done any form of training for 18 months prior to the study. The sample does not include women. If one really wanted to see the dramatic change in muscular strength, women would be the best subjects. The average woman has a lower amount of muscle mass compared to the average man.  However, their bodies react to strength training. They experience muscular hypertrophy and can gain strength. If women have lower strength and muscle mass they would be perfect to demonstrate the effectiveness on the body. The study should not include professional female athletes, because it would distort the study. This is why subjects with average levels of physical fitness have to be selected.

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The only muscle that was examined was the quadriceps muscle. The first group was required to do explosive contractions. The second group had to do the sustained contractions. The last set of subjects acted as a control group. This experiment lasted three months. Although the sample was small in comparison to other studies, it should be enough to have a reliable result. Three times a week in those months subjects trained with 40 contractions. The force was closely monitored following that measurements were recorded. This data was related to physiological and performance changes documented prior and after exercise. What was concluded goes against the common strength training method. Explosive burst contractions are better at building strength.If this is true it will change how athletes and lay exercisers approach exercise.

        Dr. Folland was confident that the “no pain no gain” motto is not actually based in exercise physiology fact. This experiment must be replicated to be considered fact. Sample size, confounding factors, or other effects could have effected the results. Folland then explains : ” Whereas traditional strength training is made up of slow, grinding contractions using heavy weights which is quite hard work, this study shows that short, sharp contractions are relatively easy to perform and a very beneficial way of building up strength. ” The idea that training to exhaustion of the muscle will encourage greater hypertrophy as well as strength. There has to be enough microtrauma  to induce muscle growth and strengthening of the fibers. Learning more about how strength training techniques can make improving sports performance easier. Fast explosive contractions could built strength efficiently and in a shorter amount of time. It must also be noted that there are other factors that determine sports performance. Diet and nutrition are critical, because the body requires fuel for long periods of physical activity. Genetics and somatotype also contribute to physical fitness capacity. There will still be variation among individuals in terms of results from a training regimen.

       Short explosive contractions could  be an effective means of  treating osteoarthritis. This disease refers to when flexible tissue at the ends of the bones wears down. Cartilage acts as a protector and cushion between bones. Osteoarthritis can damage joints in the hips, hands, knees, and spine. Symptoms include pain in joints, stiffness, bone spurs, swelling, loss of flexibility, and a grinding sensation in the bones. There are numerous risk factors. This could include age, sex, constant stress on a joint, unhealthy weight, genetics, or bone deformities. Weight training could be both a preventative measure and a treatment. Lifting heavy would be too dangerous with someone with osteoarthritis. However, short contractions could be the best for someone with the disease. It will take some time to see if this type of exercise will be effective for people wit osteoarthritis.

       Strength training is more complicated than previously thought. What can be said with certainty is that strength training can protect musculoskeletal health. Muscles and bones are built with exercise. This protects against break down that is related to age. This study must be repeated to see if can be applied to various individuals of different fitness levels.   Dr. Jonathan Folland  seems confident that explosive short burst contractions are more efficient at building strength. There are multiple methods designed to increase muscular strength. The best way to approach it continues to be debated. There also has to be a consideration to the fact everyone responds differently to a training regimen. Individuals may experience more muscular hypertrophy and strength than others based on genetics and body type.

The Best Way To Improve Muscle Strength (2016)

Lora Garrick: Women Afraid of Being Physically Stronger Than The Men They Date

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Women Afraid of Being Physically Stronger Than The Men They Date

Dating was once thought to be fun. Yet, it seems more like an algorithmic match making. Instead of meeting new people, dating apps select for people a match. The worse part is that men and women deprive themselves of something genuine due to their prejudices and bias. There are challenges that come with courtship. Men have to make the first proposal and women may find it difficult to know what they want. The change in sex politics has impacted courtship and marriage. Issues related to appearance, social status, race, religion, culture, and  personal belief system become complications. Women who are active in certain arenas that were considered male only face challenges in dating. Female athletes may get find dating a little more difficult due to bias from potential bachelors. The unfortunate aspect of this is that women may internalize prejudice. There are women who strength train or are athletes who are afraid of being stronger than men. The lugubrious post from a female weightlifter on a forum demonstrates this fact. Lora Garrick writes about this phenomenon. Garrick even reveals women avoid wearing certain types of high heels so they will not be taller than the men they date. It is sad that in an age that preaches women’s equality and girl power that this remains a debate. If a woman were to say she is afraid of being more intelligent than a man this would cause criticism. This an observer can see is from another time period. The topic of strong women and dating brings into account various difficulties. Devoting one’s self  solely to one preference could limit options. There is a problem judging a person by their appearance and using that as a measure of their worth. Modern dating has become nothing more than a business transaction, rather that a joyful event.

            When people talk about a partner, there are certain attributes they find attractive.  Generally, men and women have a preference. This could be related to body type, structure of the face, or height. The unfortunate part is that the mass media gives a distorted image of what beauty is. Beauty can have different meanings depending on personal opinion and culture. Society demands that both men and women follow the specific beauty standard. However, men and women who do not conform are often ostracized. There is resistance to rigid standards, yet the desire to have rigid  personal preferences  remains in tact. There is nothing wrong with having a personal preference or standard. The problem is rejecting a potentially good relationship with someone who does not fit the preference. The weightlifter that Garrick mentions may lose a relationship or have trouble finding others if she is more devoted to preference. She says she only wants a big strong man and rejects men who are weaker than her. She feels that the only man she needs is one that lifts. This is limiting her options for potential relationships. There is no reason our female weightlifter can date an average man. Thinking like this is superficial and shallow. Thoughts have been articulated by men who find strong women unsuitable.

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There are men who say they do not want women with bigger biceps than theirs. Certain comments are either produced from either close mindedness, insecurity, or myopic views of women. The men who say this have never dated such women, but make judgments. The strong woman should not be so quick to dismiss a man different from her. Otherwise she would be imitating the detractors who constantly disparage her athletic accomplishments. Preferences should not stop a person experiencing different people. It also from a point of statistics limits the dating pool. Ultimately, it is the individuals choice who they select, but the process could be sabotaging a relationship.

        As awful as this behavior is many people judge people by their looks. Other behaviors that are more blatant such as shallowness are condemned, yet this behavior is more acceptable. Concepts of beauty or ugliness are subjective and relative to a certain taste. Women might fin thin men attractive, while others do not. There are men who like the idea of a strong woman. The reason women may be afraid of becoming stronger than their boyfriends or husbands is that they will reject them. The notion is that if a woman becomes too powerful in any sense it emasculates the man. The male body for a longtime was a symbol of strength, power, and might. Muscles were the symbol of male strength and authority in terms of visual representation. While all men did not fit this image it is the one associated with traditional masculinity. Strong women have created a new aesthetic. Strength and muscle is no longer male only. Women have been advancing in various fields and sports is just another. The traditional femininity was meant to emphasize a woman’s weakness. Women had to appear delicate and helpless. Even with the feminist movement women still either promote or internalize this restrictive concept of femininity based on appearance. Muscular women even have doubts about themselves. If a man is truly confident he will not be concerned if you are stronger than him.

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Looks do not last forever. We eventually age and do not look the same. A relationship based on looks is fragile. If people want something substantive, it would based on a person’s character. However, people are too blinded by appearance to make these give these matters serious thought.  A large portion of men and women value people only for their appearance. The worst part of this is that they treat people they perceive as more attractive better. The people seen as undesirable are treated worse. Behavior like this may be difficult to detect, but victims of it definitely feel the effects. Rejection is common place in the dating market. Some people just may never find anyone. The reason may be people’s immediate repudiation of others based on appearance.

         Modern dating seems more like a business transaction, rather than an enjoyable outing. Technology has to a degree been managing our lives. Now it has control of our interpersonal relations. Dating websites and apps use algorithms to match couples together based on data collected from user profiles. Searching for a date or starting  a relationship seems more like looking for a job. The process seems more like an interview, rather than a friendly exchange.  There are qualifications that are both physical and personality based that a person has to meet to even be considered. Even if a small dialogue is established nothing may come of it. Technology cannot be completely blamed for this phenomenon. A world that has become too materialistic and obsessed with consumerism had an unintended consequence. People only value one another for their status. This does not effect men and women on an equal level.  Men need to have higher status than the women they date otherwise they will not get attention. Women with high status are criticized if they date men of lower status. Some may not even think they are worth it. This partially explains why men struggle more to get relationships or married. It also explains why highly accomplished women could  find themselves lonely. Men either feel intimidated or insecure when attempting to approach them. More so it is a feeling of not being good enough. This dilemma between men and women make them not even try. Nothing will happen unless an attempt is made. Sadly, some get so hurt they give up or go to a negative place psychologically. Loneliness is now become a public health issue. Incels and femcels are becoming organized groups of  people who are frustrated with their failures with the opposite sex. This problem is barely discussed or even recognized as an issue. People must start valuing one another again. If not this could have devastating social consequences. Divorces are more likely to happen due financial strain, rather than irreconcilable differences. The reason being is that people are marrying based around status and resources rather than actually loving one another. This is a good reason why dating should not be modeled like a business transaction.

            One should also stop and wonder why is a woman who is stronger than a man seen with so much negativity. There may be some unspoken fear that their will be a female take over or women want to get even with men for past abuse. So far, there have been no amazon matriarchies emerging. Certain men may feel that sports and physical strength is the only thing they have left in world of constantly changing roles. Even when they see a woman who is physically impressive they either mock them or disparage their accomplishments. Women also hide their talents believing if they show off too much it will scare men off. Women even pretend to be less intelligent to not offend some insecure men’s sensibilities. Men who claim to be liberal minded, even draw the line with women who have significant strength.

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Being different or not following the status quo can limit the dating candidates, but at least a person can be happy with themselves.  It seems strange to give up what you like or change yourself to satisfy a person. Real love is liking a person both faults and strengths included. The strong woman does not deserve such intense vituperation. The problem with this world is people love too little and hate so much. That must change. Everyone deserves love at one point in their life. For men who reject women because they are too strong, you could be missing out on a fun and unique experience.

        Lora Garrick concludes her article with some advice to women strength athletes. The first point she mentions is that physical strength has advantages. The improvements to health have been scientifically conformed. Physical protection is the least discussed. Garrick states that women would be in a better position to fight off men who get physically aggressive in a relationship. Domestic violence is too common in both dating  and marriage. Women are in this regard at a disadvantage seeing as men have more physical strength on average. Strength could ensure women’s personal safety, yet do not underestimate the importance of self-defense. One could be strong, but not an effective fighter. On a more positive note having more strength can also help your significant other. If a man unable to move or needs physical assistance, this would not be a challenge for a strong woman. Garrick also in a facetious manner says just go to gyms and find strong men there. The women may want to expand their horizons, but that means sometimes going outside their dating preferences. Women have an easier time starting relationships, because it does not require as much effort. Men have to pay for dinner, approach, and make plans. The issue is not the amount of effort. The problem is that is not equally distributed among the sexes.

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This seems like a dated form of social behavior especially for a society that makes gender equality a top concern. That proclamation should extend to social mores. To the strong woman the best advice is to select a man based on his character. If appearance or social status is the only focus of a relationship, then it is always fragile. These things can easily go away with time. True feelings last forever. While the man your with may not reach your athletic feats, he may be wild about you. That seems more important. Sadly, none of us may never experience genuine love. We go through life struggling to find the warmth of another and many times it does not take off. This is no reason to quit or be blindly optimistic. Finding happiness starts with personal introspection. Attempting to get that from relationships can only lead to disappointment. Do not make this an excuse to isolate yourself, because of a few rejections. Going out of your usual comfort zone can be a great start. The female weightlifter that is afraid about getting stronger than her boyfriend is comedic. Date thin, fat men, or men who are not into sports. There are plenty of bachelors out there, you just have to pick. Having many selections can be hard if you do not know what you are looking for. Being stronger than the man you date is not the worse thing in the world.

Lora Garrick: Women Afraid of Being Physically Stronger Than The Men They Date

Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day !

National Girls and Women in Sports Day is an observance during the first week of February that celebrates female athletes. Officially it is recognized on the the 4th. That was the day that President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5606.  It is a day to celebrate women’s participation and contribution to sports in the United States of America. Since 1987, NGWSD has been declared by the US Congress  as a day of recognition for women’s sports contributions. Community based events are sponsored by the Women’s Sports Foundation, National Women’s Law Center, Girls Inc, and the President’s Council  on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. The day of celebration was at first to honor Flo Hyman who died of Marfan’s syndrome. The professional volleyball player was active in gaining equality for women in sports. She died in 1986 at the age of only 31. While she did not live to see it more women around the world were competing in the Olympics by 2012. Women and girls are competing in numerous sports such as weightlifting, basketball, soccer, football, bodybuilding, and cricket. Title IX opened the doors of opportunity for many women in athletics. However, there is still much work to be done. Women athletes still face unequal pay, lack of media coverage, and sexist prejudice.  To an extent the internet and social media have circumvented the traditional media gatekeepers, which has allowed greater exposure of female athletes. The irony about the National Girls and Women in Sports Day proclamation was that it occurred in a time of a neoconservative administration. The Reagan administration wanted to reverse the gains made by the civil rights and feminist movement. Reproductive rights and anti-discrimination laws were under attack. Despite the barriers women in the past and present continue to compete and win.

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Los Angeles Sparks v Phoenix Mercury, Game 2

Eri Tosaka won Japan's first gold medal of the night after coming from behind to beat Azerbaijan's Mariya Stadnyk

Allyson Felix

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Happy National Girls and Women in Sports Day !