Josh Teal : Women Are Biologically Stronger Than Men , Study Finds

The general public has a tendency to misinterpret science. When it comes to questions of biology and sex more misinformation is spread. Josh Teal makes the proclamation that a study found women are biologically stronger than men. This based on data collected in a report from Duke University. What the study did was collect information on life expectancy in relation to sex . What the study discovered was that women,even under periods of extreme turmoil still were able to live longer than their male counterparts. The University of Southern Denmark also conducted a study that looked at men and women’s life expectancy under famines, slavery, extreme conditions  and epidemics. Once more women were able to outlive men. The Max Plank Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging did not  make the proclamation women are biologically stronger than men. However, news articles either obfuscate or are erroneous in their presentation of the facts. Josh Teal has done this in his article for Unilad. Women have an advantage in terms of survival, rather than “biological strength.” It could be argued that the concept of biological strength does not exist. The proper term would be fitness meaning the ability for organisms to produce offspring and propagate their genes. Teal seems to confuse biological fitness with physical fitness, which are two different scientific concepts and terminologies. The only argument that could be made from Josh Teal’s position is that women have more duration based strength. Women may not be as physically strong, but can be durable in terms of longer life expectancy and better health condition. The gap between men and women in life expectancy can be related also to infant mortality. Baby boys may have a harder time reaching adulthood compared to girls.  Life expectancy and total life span are not all biologically based. environment also has an impact on human survival. The report even stated that ” our findings also indicate that female advantage differs across environments and is modulated by social factors.”

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Are Women Biologically Stronger Than Men ?

Biology is not destiny, when there is a clear impact from environment and other factors. Biology certainly is not static and can change as evolution has demonstrated in the animal kingdom. Women’s survival advantage the report acknowledges does have biological underpinnings. Women no matter which part of the globe continue to outlive men. However, it should be remembered that data may not be as reliable from the ancient past to Middle Ages, because there could be gaps in record keeping. If women have a biological trait for extended life, then it should also appear in ancient history and during the millions of years of human evolution. The report also found that their was an exception with one slave population they was studied in which women did not have a reduced mortality risk. The Guardian  also reported the findings, but presented them in a most ludicrous title : “Scientist Confirm What Women Already Knew Men Are the Weaker Sex .” The term weaker sex has been used against women to indicate biological inferiority. Women obviously are not biological or physical inferiors. The concept of biological superiority is not based in scientific fact. It implies that evolution has a teleological path and that  has a final perfect  biological morphology stage. Calling men the weaker sex in The Guardian article is ludicrous, because their is no such thing as a superior or inferior sex.

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Scientists confirm what women always knew: men really are the weaker sex

Kate Hodal’s interpretation like Josh Teal reaches the wrong conclusion.  Biological strength does not hold to the test of the scientific method. If that were so, then would the longest living animals be biologically stronger than humans?  There are animals that outlive humans by large margins in terms of total life span. Ocean Quahogs can reach up to 400 years old. The world ‘s oldest recorded tortoise known as Johnathan is estimated to be 187 years old. Bowhead whales can reach the age of 200 years. Scientists would not call these animals biological stronger. It seems that the term biology is used often, but few actually understand its meaning. The field of study is vast which encompasses numerous disciplines and applied sciences. Comprehending the definition of biology can elucidate why Josh Teal and Kate Hodal  position is not accurate.

             Biology is the study of  life and its functions. That is a broad and immense task when doing a full examination of the numerous organism and ecosystems that are on the Earth. Biology has major branches that include microbiology, taxonomy, ecology, ethology, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, cytology, and evolutionary biology. Microbiology  investigate microorganisms too small to see with human eyes. Bacteria, viruses, or tardigrades  are organisms that are of interest to a microbiologist. Taxonomy involves the classification of animals and their relation to one another. This is particularly difficult because new species can be discovered and more could exist in the universe. Astrobiology  ponders what possible life forms could exist in outer space. Ecology involves studying how organisms interact with their natural habitat. Human beings are the only organisms that can alter their environment to such a radical degree. Ethology focuses on animal behavior. Jane Goodall  work and direct observation on  chimpanzee behavior is an example of ethology. Genetics explores heredity, inheritance  and the impact of genes on a life forms. Biochemistry takes the field of chemistry and applies to the study of compounds. Lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins function can be understood through biochemistry. Physiology explains the functions and mechanisms of an organism. This should not be confused with anatomy, which focuses on structure. Both anatomy and physiology have a multitude of applications to medicine, surgery, and sports science.

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The organs of the female body

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Cytology studies the cells of  living organisms.  Cell biology reveals that cells are the building blocks of life. Cell biology can also be extended to histology, which looks at the tissues of  organisms. There is considerable debate on what should be considered living. Biologists have debated whether or not a virus is considered alive. A virus is a nucleic molecule in a protein coat and can only  multiply in cells of a host. Evolutionary biology seeks to explain why there is so much diversity of life. The world has so many plants and animals which zoology as well as botany seek to describe. Natural selection and gradual changes over a period of time are theories that suggest many organisms once had a common genetic ancestor for which they branched off. Saying one sex is “biologically stronger”  is not scientifically valid. It also reveals that some have a difficulty distinguishing two different terms of biological fitness and physical fitness.

           Biological fitness and physical fitness are not the same. Josh Teal confuses the two. Biological fitness describes how successful an organism at producing offspring and promoting a certain genotype. Physical fitness refers to the ability to perform certain exercise under fatigue. A stronger and faster person can be physically fit, but if they do not leave offspring in terms of biological fitness they are not successful. The term survival of the fittest is the most misunderstood term in evolution. Charles Darwin did not coin the term, it was Hebert Spencer. The image of violent struggles or vicious competition are associated with the animal kingdom, yet organisms are more complicated in terms of behavior. Animals exhibit cooperation, competitiveness, and social organization. Survival of the fittest does not mean that a “superior” organism has a greater chance for survival. There are animals that were bigger and stronger, but when extinct. The dinosaurs were the largest animals that ever walked the Earth. They could not survive the dramatic change in environment that occurred with a meteor strike and perished.

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The assumption is that the physically strong would be able to survive longer. The weakest could have high biological fitness if they are able to produce enough healthy offspring. 

The smaller mammals would emerge and eventually become the dominant force on land. Australopithicines would appear and gradually humanity would branch off into its own species. Sex selection also plays a role in biological fitness. Organisms have a certain method of  selecting mates. Microorganisms in comparison would have high biological fitness. Bacteria can multiply fast, but does not contain strength or intelligence comparable to a human being. Insects can reproduce more offspring than people. Humans may want to think of themselves as a superior species, but it too could be subject to mass extinct. Some have even speculated it will come by its own doing.

        Environment can have a huge role in life expectancy. The reason men die earlier is that they take more risks, get into dangerous situations, and expected to sacrifice themselves for a greater good.  The culture of expendable males has not disappeared and it is something women will never have to endure. The selective service remains proof of that. Women will most probably never have to register for the selective service. Males are represented more in dangerous occupations such as firefighting, law enforcement, construction, and the military. Modern technology has reduced the cases of higher fatalities in the past, but risk has not been completely eliminated. From another perspective of health men are put under more stress to be providers and leaders of society. At the same time they are not allowed to express emotions in a healthy way, which could manifest in mental health disorder or chronic illness. Men do not have it so simple when viewed from this perspective. Simply living in poverty or horrible conditions can kill a person. The enslaved in Trinidad had low life expectancy, because of horrible working conditions and no healthcare. The free peoples who emigrated to Liberia did not live long due to not having immunity to diseases present in the country. Physical and mental abuse can destroy a person. Survival is not linked solely to one’s genes; environment is an important factor. The female enslaved in Trinidad had shorter life expectancy due to environment. This throws off the other recorded data. Women may just live longer because they do not do anything dangerous and avoid risk.

        It is obvious that there is a difference in durational and physical strength between the sexes. Even though that data is from the past, male and female life span have a gap. There are biological factors for why this is. Women produce offspring, so from a point of survival it would only make sense that they evolved to live longer. The reason why men are on average are stronger was to fight other males for mates. This can be seen in other organisms which exhibit sexual dimorphism. Women did not need to fight over men to acquire a mate. Genetically the X chromosome may provide a benefit of protection. A harmful mutation on the x chromosome would not be a threat seeing as a woman has another. The Y chromosome does not provide that benefit. Oestrogen can enable protection of blood vessels. Sexual dimorphism is flexible. There can be men that outlive women and women who are stronger than men.

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Healthy habits can prevent many chronic illnesses. 
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Not all men are stronger than women. There are some that can pick you up. 
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An older man who may outlive women in his same age group. 

There is no way to account for individual health condition of every individual in the data.  Collecting information on the enslaved in Trinidad would be the most difficult. Slave owners rarely cared about the health of their captives, just as long as they were productive. Preexisting conditions can effect both men and women, which would change life expectancy outcomes. This may be a factor that could have altered the data collection. The study also just took past sample from a few countries. The pattern could still remain, but there could be differences. Asia and Oceania  were not represented in the sample set because it was not available for 1820 to 1882. What can be stated with certainty is that women on average have durational strength according to life expectancy and life span data.

     The notion of a biologically stronger sex is also wrong,because it implies orthogenesis. This now discredited theory stated that organism evolve slowly in a teleological direction. Human evolution is not progressive; it functions more like a tree with multiple branches. The morphology of human beings can change depending on environment and genetics. That does not imply that there is a special purpose for it or a perfect final form. Nature has not intended a perfect form for humanity. Unfortunately, when the general public thinks of human biological evolution the March of  Progress comes to mind. The image that appeared in Life Nature Library has since become ingrained in popular culture. Appearing in 1965 it shows humans evolving in a linear direction.   The discovery of numerous primate species has made it more obsolete.  Currently, it is thought that humanity emerged 200,000 earlier than previously thought.

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The March of Progress
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The Human Evolutionary Tree
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The modern homo sapien

New information and discovery of fossils is changing what biologists have though about evolution. Men and women are physically and biologically different, but their evolution is not that much different. men and women are not separate species. Science is still attempting to answer the question what makes us human.

         The study does show that women have durational strength. It does not demonstrate biological strength. This as a concept cannot be measured. Making such claims of one sex being better than other is nothing more than a revived pseudoscience. The irony is that now their are claims saying women are superior. This pitiful attempt at humor is very telling : ” By the way, fellas, in case you get all angry and insecure, we’re talking biological strength.” There are plenty of women who have some brawn power, but they do not make men feel insecure. Some get much admiration. The method of this study was not incorrect. The challenge is collecting data and how reliable it is. The question is would the patter continue in the following centuries. There is always a risk that civilization could be destabilized by war, climate change, pandemics, and food shortages. This would dramatically reduce the global population. Human beings cannot control natural disasters,but they can create either positive or negative social conditions. Low quality healthcare systems, poverty, and violence are not created by accident. Inequality and oppression can form environments of poor health. Women higher survival rate during periods of turbulence may be based on avoiding danger and genetics for longevity.

Josh Teal : Women Are Biologically Stronger Than Men , Study Finds

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)

Stephanie Lee : Why Being a “Bulky” Woman Is Awesome

Bulky Isn’t Bad

Stephanie Lee is a weightlifter and contributor to The Greatest. She shares a personal story as well as a defense of women who develop their strength and muscularity to the maximum. It is wonderful that women in fitness are defending other strong women and their athletic achievements . The assumption was that it was either a negative troll, insecure man, or sexist who got into an argument with Lee. The Twitter confrontation started with another woman, who also is involved in fitness. What motivated her to respond is a common comment seen in various fitness literature. Women cannot bulk is a ubiquitous statement spread around to calm women who are afraid of getting “too muscular.” Anyone with an understanding of biology and anatomy would realize there is no such thing as “bulky” muscles.  While Stephanie Lee has a consensus on the fact not enough women are lifting heavy ( or exercising enough )  she vociferous disagrees about what women’s athletic potential is. Women can make muscular gain through exercise. Body image conformity, sexism, and women’s own internalization of misogyny has created a situation in which women have psychological issues related to appearance. Women who attempt to challenge the status quo are either vituperated or ostracized by the mainstream culture. Lee even falls victim to some of the ideas when discussing women and performance enhancing drugs. Bulky is a relative term and one used to describe aesthetics. Whether such physiques are achieved naturally or by pharmaceutical means  becomes irrelevant when discussing such vicious reactions to women’s bodies that look different.

              The arguments against women being strong and muscular  lack cogency. The primary objection is that harms a woman’s beauty. The problem with this argument is that beauty is subjective and varies depending on taste or culture. The requirement that women should be beautiful or fit some single standard only demonstrates how women are reduced in sex objects in a male dominated culture. It also hinders men’s freedom being dictated to about what he should find to be acceptable in a woman. The argument that it is not natural seems more ludicrous. What people do to their bodies and consume on a daily basis probably not natural. Life extension, biomedical treatments, or surgery is not natural, because it has in a way circumvented natural selection. Without certain technology or medicine people with certain health conditions would have  died at higher rates. Yet,it is never said it is unnatural to extend their lives. Women developing their bodies is no more unnatural than a person consuming foods with various assortments of minerals. The other argument involves the use of performance enhancing drugs notably anabolic androgenic  steroids . The claim is women cannot build muscle without them,but that is false.  There are contests that are drug tested and others that are not. To say that every single muscular woman is on drugs is incorrect. The only way to discover that is to test for them. Stephanie Lee states ” Sure some women can look like this, but not by natural means and not by lifting weights in a couple of months.” Some women can get muscular with little effort and it would be erroneous to think drugs create champions. True success can be determined by training intensity, diet, and the exercise regimen. Just looking at the size of the muscles does not determine if a woman uses drugs. Even fitness competitors who are smaller in comparison have used drugs. According to statistics more men are consumers of anabolic androgenic steroids and the rates are not even as high among professional athletes. The drug accusations are really meant to disparage women and their accomplishments. Even if some competitors do use,that does not make their feats an less impressive.

Women are now serious athletes with more exposure than ever. This will take time for some people to get used to. It is not everyday that a person sees a woman of such incredible physicality. Reactions vary from either being positive, shocked, neutral, or more negative. The fact is that a woman is in control of her appearance and body whether people like it or not.

          There is a rarely discussed issue about the criticism of muscular women. Other women make vicious criticisms. While it is assumed it is men who engage in acts of body shaming or body image conformity, women put each other down. This makes no logical sense. The idea that women support one another seems to be more of a feminist fabrication. The reasons for male ostracism are clear, yet women’s reasons are not entirely understood. Jealously could be one motivation. Some women feel the need to attack a person the perceive as more successful or getting more male attention. It is no secret that the muscular women still attract a certain amount of male admirers. There also could be a level of insecurity from female critics who feel insecure about their own bodies. Some women may just reject the idea of powerful women, because they have not reached a state of consciousness that goes beyond the a conformity based paradigm. Women may just be so brainwashed that they doubt their own capabilities. Doubt stops them from being adventurous or fully enjoying life. This is why women need role models and someone to disrupted the established order. Thankfully, women do not let the negative comments get to them. There may never be acceptance among the general public, but who wants to be like everyone else? People who achieve greatness was by viewing the world differently. The women that push their bodies to a new aesthetic and level just have different perspective of what the female body can do.

          Bulky is a term of little scientific value. Bulky simply means having huge amounts of muscle mass. This does not explain the process of bodybuilding. The women on stage weigh less compared to their off season. Therefore they are not bulking. They reduced their body fat and through weight training caused muscular hypertrophy. Building tone is the same. These terms are relative depending on individual taste. A track athlete could be bulky to another person, but not have the same muscular development as a bodybuilder. Building such bodies takes years, a specific diet, and training regimen. Realizing this women ‘s fear of building strong bodies seems comical. If a person really hates the idea of developed muscle on their body they can simply stop training. The muscle will then gradually atrophy. Muscles do not turn into fat when training is halted. The only way that excessive or unhealthy weight gain could occur is consuming more calories and having limited amounts of physical activity.

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Building muscle does have health benefits to women’s bodies. As people age muscle mass decreases. Seeing as women have a smaller baseline in terms of muscle and bone amount, weightlifting becomes more critical. While this appearance may not be to everyone’s taste, that does not give a person a right to be rude. Women do not need unsolicited opinions about their looks or what they do to their bodies. Bulky used by laymen is just another unscientific term used to describe muscular development.

        Stephanie Lee reveals that there is often a contradictory message being presented to women in the fitness world. Being strong to a degree is fine, but do not get too strong. She expressed it this way : “yet there still exists this notion that women need to strength train differently than men: Ladies should stick with light weights, while men can go HAM.” There are unspoken rules and codes that women are subject to in this double standard related to sports and fitness. The rule is to not look so strong that you could challenge a man on a physical level. That means a woman has become a threat in some way. The false notion is that a woman who gains any power will abuse it in some way with men being the primary target. Muscular women are for some reason viewed as aggressive or man hating. This prejudice has no basis in fact, rater ludicrous fears about physically strong  women. Some people’s objection is that women become masculine having such powerful bodies. Strength is not a male only characteristic. As Lee mentions women can get strong and develop muscle too. There are supporters of female muscle who advocate some development on women. Not to the degree of female bodybuilders, but figure or fitness women. Often some say women “cross the line” or “get too big.” Another term is that their physiques are extreme. Once more these terms are relative and dependent on taste. A figure competitor could be considered huge compared to a thin woman.

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Stephanie Lee : Why Being a “Bulky” Woman Is Awesome

Are Men Stronger Than Women Or Is It Another Way To Degrade Female Identity ?

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Are Men Physically Stronger Than Women? Or is this yet another way to degrade the female identity?

Biology and anatomical science seem to have many critics. This is not just from the conservative political spectrum,but it is also articulated by the liberal spectrum of politics. Sex differences have become a topic of debate and controversy. Some have used it to justify oppression and others refuse to acknowledge it. Intelligence, emotion, and behavior differences have become taboo subjects, often devolving into generalizations and gender stereotypes. Sexual dimorphism is the most obvious difference between men and women. It can be visually seen in body size, shape,  height, and the face. Men are on average physically stronger than women, yet some make believe a simple statement of biological fact degrades female identity. This is false for a number of reasons. It takes a general statement, but does not account for statistical variation. What could extrapolated from that question that female identity would be something  opposite of masculinity. It has a wider definition and cultural context. Men and women have a different physiology and biology, which explains why men are stronger in comparison. The most physically fit women are not as strong as the fittest men. However, should not be ignored that misogynists use sex difference as a way to make the claim men are physically superior. There still remains an organized effort to control women’s bodies in regards to their appearance, reproductive rights, and generally health. Denying difference will not promote gender equality.

           The human population varies in height, weight, and fitness condition. Relevant to physical strength it is not biologically impossible for a woman to be stronger than a man.  A smaller man may not have the same strength as a larger woman. What this means is that the male and female strength difference would follow a  Gaussian distribution. The majority would be in the middle of the distribution, while exceptions would be at the far ends of the curve. Every man is not physically strong and every woman is not weak. That is why the term average is used, which is misunderstood. mathematically it can be defined as “a number expressing the central or typical value in a set of data, in particular the mode, median, or (most commonly) the mean, which is calculated by dividing the sum of the values in the set by their number.” This translates to the most common data value or outcome. Related to common male and female strength potential it means more men would have strength statistically, but that does not mean women cannot be strong.

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Gaussian distribution

The strongest woman would be stronger than the weakest man. The weakest woman would be weaker than the weakest man. The strongest woman would be weaker than the strongest man. Take the images above as a visual guide. The weakest man wearing the glasses has considerably more sinew compared to the thinnest woman. Dayana  Cadeau  would certainly be stronger than both of them, but comparing her to Stan McQuay  has a different result. Dayana’s 150 lbs body  would not be as strong as Stan’s 202 lbs body .Considering the whole human population, there could be more physically strong women then one realizes. There could be overlap, but this may be very rare. Biology and physiology explain why their is sexual dimporhism in relation to physical strength.

      Men and women have physiological and biological differences that effect their muscular, circulatory, and respiratory system. The physical strength difference is not a hypothesis. It should be noted that up until a certain age boys and girls are at the same physical strength level. Boys and girls have similar bone and muscle mass prior to the age of 13. Natural strength is the force the body can generate without physical training. Children’s bodies have not reach full growth and sex hormones have not changed physiology. The endocrine system produces varying amounts of estrogen and androgens among the sexes. Testosterone enable the male body to have more natural strength by altering body composition and bone density. Muscle is not the only contributor to physical strength ligaments and tendons also aid in body strength. Girls for a period in their early teens may be a little taller than boys. Their growth spurt happens sooner and ends earlier. Boys continue growing gaining more natural strength. Girls do see some musculoskeletal growth, but is not to the same degree as boys. Upper body strength dramatically increases in men aided by broadened shoulders and more androgen receptors in that section of the body.

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Around the fourth tanner stage of puberty men surpass women in physical strength.
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Women have less bone and muscle mass. Bones and muscles in their bodies grow, but body composition consists of fat due to higher levels of estrogen and progesterone.
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It is possible that there can be overlap in athletic performance. This may be related to individual physiology and fitness potential which varies regardless of sex.

Endocrinology is not the only factor that determines strength. Genetics, training, diet, and body type play a role. Muscle fiber type also is essential. Type II muscle fibers are needed for explosive bursts of physical power. Bigger muscles do not automatically mean more strength it is dependent on muscle fiber type. Muscular hypertrophy happens the same way in men and women due to training. The difference is in final result from a training regimen. Men have more muscle to start off with and training adds more . Women can build muscle, but do not see muscular hypertrophy and growth to the same degree. While so think biology is designed to discriminate against people who are different, the truth is it does the opposite. William Darias author of the article claims that that too much focus on testosterone was what banned Jazz Jennings a transwoman from playing on a girls soccer team. Having a basic understanding of endocrinology and anatomy does the opposite. When she was banned it was during a period in which she was undergoing transition. Transwomen who undergo sexual reassignment surgery and hormone replacement would not retain the same level of physical strength when they were male. The reason being is the testosterone level is there to enable greater protein synthesis. The irrational claim that trnaswomen would destroy or dominate women’s sports has little support. It can still be debated how much physical advantage they have related to lung and heart size, which can not be altered through sexual reassignment. Biology is not fiction; it is fact.

          Biology does not explain the strength gap entirely. Environment does play a role. Boys may be encouraged to develop physical skills, while girls are not. Women are relative newcomers to the world of professional sport. Certain opportunities for a platform of competition have been denied to them in the past. There has been progress, yet women face bias even in youth. Physical education classes may teach girls differently than boys. There are some countries like Iran and Afghanistan in which women have been prohibited from taking part in athletic competition. Iran only allowed women to watch football matches in stadiums only in the year 2019. Religious conservatives in the country continue to object. Barriers exist for women at the highest levels of competition. Proper training information may be limited considering most exercise physiology studies focus on men. Seeing as women have a different physiology and anatomy, they may be using methods that do not optimize their athletic performance to the highest extent. Besides unequal pay and lack of media coverage, one unaddressed issue is criticism of women’s muscular appearance. Insults and vituperation are common online and verbalized by detractors. Unwanted negative criticism is a way for those with sexist or misogynistic beliefs to disparage women in what they think should be male only activity.

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The strong woman is either condemned for being “too big” or “unattractive.” Some go as far to say they are trying to either be like men. Such abuse does not happen to men who are active in sports or activities that require physical strength. This is not the intention of women who develop their bodies to the maximum. The reactions may come from jealousy, fear, or irrational prejudice. May be the difference in male and female strength is not the issue .

      Identity important to individuals and groups. Saying men are stronger than women degrades female identity one must define what it is. If feminine identity is degraded by acknowledging sex differences, that means female identity is weakness by default. The argument in its attempt leads to an incorrect dichotomy. Feminine and masculine identity have for so long been defined by one dimensional gender stereotypes that it has distorted the image of man and woman. Gender roles have changed with culture and history. Strength and bravery was associated with men, while weakness was linked to women. Feminine identity can be defined in many ways by individuals and cultures. The weaker sex stereotype was used as an excuse to discriminate against women. Physically demanding occupations used it to keep from hiring them. There are physically strong women, but this does not make them unfeminine. The problem is that strength has been seen as solely male. The fact of physical strength difference is not the problem, rather people’s attitudes about women with any type of power. Women are either accused of “going too far ” or “getting out of control .”  If roles can change, there should be not contradiction between femininity and physical strength. Asking the question articulated in the article just indirectly implies that strength and femininity are not compatible.

        Physical strength does not equate to physical superiority. Biological superiority is not a valid scientific concept. Unfortunately,  some cannot distinguish between biology and pseudoscience.  Acknowledging  sexual dimorphism in the human sexes is not an example sexism. The differences are the result of millions of years of human evolution. Genetics and environment molded human bodies. The concept of physical superiority implies that there is some grand design in biological evolution. Changes to organisms are not linear nor do they stop. There is not a final stage in an organism’s biological evolution. Phenotype and morphology  is not an indication of superiority. What this reveals is how humans evolved in response to environmental changes. Bipedalism, the increase in cranial volume, and changes in the digestive system of humans were adaptations. Men being bigger was a way to compete for mates and territory.  The strongest and biggest hunter would most likely bring back more food, which would attract more females. Sex selection may have also played a role in male and female physicality. If early female hominins selected the biggest males as mates, this means smaller males would gradually disappear. Males probably selected the smallest women considering they would not consume as much. Sexual dimorphism was much more pronounced in austrlopithecines compared to modern humans. Neanderthals had stronger bones and muscles compared to modern homo sapiens. Few would argue that neanderthals are superior to modern humanity. Saying physical strength is a marker of superiority is as ludicrous as using intelligence, skin color, or appearance as criteria.

Human beings vary in ability, but are equal in worth. The women who are fitter than the men are not physically superior. The men in the images above are not superior simply because they are male. The women just have the ability to be more athletic. The lugubrious fact of society is that certain people are valued more than others. Only the rule of law, equal rights, and opportunity can ensure that everyone is treated fairly. Men and women need each other. Nature has shown that seeing as cooperation between the sexes was required to produce and raise offs spring. Physical superiority implies that the human body has one final perfected form and that it will be reached. As far as biologists know evolution just does not stop by reaching a certain morphology in an organism. Physical superiority does not explain how small organisms or ones with limited intelligence manage to survive. Microorganisms are small and have little intelligence yet can multiply rapidly. Coronavirus has spread across the world and so far no vaccine has been developed to stop it. A small organism like that can cause damage to a larger animal or person. Human beings would like to think of themselves as unique or special, but we are another part of a wider ecosystem.

          Science should always be questioned. Facts that have been verified should not be disregarded. The age of fake news, political correctness, and underground conspiracy theory have distorted people’s idea of what truth is. A mere question is not the problem. The issue is that a person denies facts that are proven. The majority of exercise physiology, biomedical science, and biology research has shown that men are on average stronger than women. The reason has to do with how the SRY gene codes for male characteristics, body size, and sex hormone production. The question remains are women as strong as they can get? That does not have an answer. Obviously, it would be mendacious to say that women are helpless weaklings. Looking at the women competing in various sports their strength, agility, and speed is greater compared to the past. The shackles of social oppression are far from removed, which have an impact on success. This does not completely explain why men and women under the same training and exercise conditions see different results in physical fitness capacity. Difference does not make one biologically or physically inferior. Sexual dimorphism should not be seen as a curse on women. Rather, feminine difference should be embraced. What women become is due to both biology and environment. Nothing, however definite or predetermined. Women now demonstrate they are very capable of physical and athletic prowess. Being offended by the facts of sex differences is an exaggerated over reaction.

Are Men Stronger Than Women Or Is It Another Way To Degrade Female Identity ?

Lauri Braun : I Don’t Want to Get Too Big (2011)

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Don’t Get Too Big

Lauri Braun the founder of Female Muscle.com wrote about a common phrase that women work out commonly hear. The warning is do not “get too big.” For too long women have been dictated how to behave or what to do with their lives. Even more nauseating is the comment “you should smile more.” It is worse enough that someone demands that you look a certain way, but to feel a particular way is more infuriating. Braun calls her discussion a rant, yet it is just an observation of a known double standard. Strong women are constantly criticized for the muscles and power they have gained. The odd aspect about this is that women internalize this subtle form of sexism. They do not lift anything heavier than five pound dumbells. There still is a misconception that they overestimate their ability to gain muscle. Such a process takes years along with specific training and diet. Lauri Barun being a personal trainer herself had to explain on multiple occasions that this would not happen. It is like saying if you hand a woman a tennis racket, they will gain the skills of Serena Williams.  Much of this fear stems from ignorance of the sport, the women, and basic human anatomy. The phrase “don’t get too big” should be retired from fitness discussion.

           Often the phrase “too big” is used for women with the highest amount of muscular development. Female bodybuilders are targets for such ridicule. Unwanted commentary is either expressed as insults, bullying behavior, and sexist abuse. The double standards are so obvious, because men with muscular physiques are not subject to such ostracism. Women should have the right to look however they want to regardless of society’s expectations. It seems so perplexing in an age that is seeing more women rise to positions  of power that this concept has not been accepted. There is a body positivity movement, but it seems to exclude athletic bodies in favor of larger ones. It really is not inclusive as it sounds. Muscular women are either absent or not visible in this social movement. Then again it really is not an organized mass movement, rather a loose association. Women are partially to blame for body image conformity. This is mainly through being involved in the beauty and fashion industry. Businesses like that are kept alive by women focusing on their appearance. The beauty industry is estimated at being worth $532 billion dollars. If consumers had a positive body image, sales would decline. The muscular woman challenges notions of female weakness and passivity. A woman’s beauty in this view should be defined by being dainty and frail. Thankfully, women can define femininity on their terms rather than some dated ideals.

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Bulky

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The “too big” or “too much” is a matter of taste. A woman who is a track athlete my be too big for some. Having an opinion is not the problem; disparaging people who are different is. Even people who may not advocate the muscular development on a female physique can at least admit it is impressive. There are also a portion of people who appreciate the aesthetic. The lugubrious element of this is that there is a demand for people to look alike and think the same. Getting “too big” is more about perception not anatomical reality.

       Women being too big is not anatomically possible. The only way that could happen is if a woman reaches a body weight that would be classified as morbidly obese. At this stage the ability to walk and have a healthy circulatory system is not possible. The strain on the skeletal system is so great joint issue can occur from being overweight  or obese. Women who are muscular are called bulky. That implies colloquially being of large size. The women on a bodybuilding stage or just muscular women in general do not weigh that much. The average man or an out of shape woman could weigh more. Comparing a muscular woman to a muscular man their is a difference in the morphology of the physique. The upper body of women is smaller, compared to men. The pelvis is wider giving women a distinctive shape. When muscle is added to the female frame it enhances the form. The irrational fear for some women is that their body will become block like. The reality is that the torso of the male is more block like than women. Female bodybuilders still aim for a version of the hour glass figure although they used different methods to attain it. By developing a muscular upper body and lower body  the waist on women appears smaller. Detractors claim that they are attempting to emulate men, but what they are really doing is developing a new aesthetic of female beauty.

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Although women do have big muscles, bodybuilding is more than just about size. Symmetry, conditioning, and definition are what contribute to quality physiques. This is where the body becomes a living art piece. This may be hard to understand if you do not admire sculpture or physique sports. The women are not large massive blobs of flesh. Examining the weight of various bodybuilders from the past to present only further demonstrates the point. Rachel Mclish weighed only 135 lbs., while Corey Everson was 155 lbs. Kim Chizevsky was 160 lbs. The body weight of these three Ms.Olympia champions is less than what would you would think by just looking at their pictures. Few women have reached the over 200 lbs mark, which a vast majority of male bodybuilders reach. Two of the greatest athletes Iris Kyle and Lenda Murray would not be considered bulky simply based on weight. Iris was 165 lbs of muscle and Lenda was 153 lbs.

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Lesa Lewis 04

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The biggest female bodybuilders do not even compare to men of the same fitness level and size. There can be overlap, but it is not possible for a woman to get man size. Lesa Lewis competed at 193 lbs during her athletic career. Maria Wattel has a weight of 198 lbs. The reason why Lesa and Maria are bigger is due to their height. They are both tall with Maria being 5′ 7” and Lesa being 5′ 10.”  The skeletal frame aids in size. The bigger the skeleton the more muscle can be housed on a frame. Muscular hypertrophy is regulated by myostatin and the MTSN gene. This explains why muscles do not continue to grow endlessly. Getting to the size of the Incredible Hulk would not be possible in relation to human morphology. Women have to work harder to build muscle and strength due to how the endocrine system influences physiology. Reaching this level of muscular development takes much time, effort, and an intricate understanding of nutrition.

       The perplexing problem about the “too big” concept is that women utter this more among themselves. Lori Braun observed that some overweight women do this. The reason for such unwanted commentary could be jealousy, envy, or closed mindedness. Harsh critics could be internalizing some of the messages of body image conformity. The negative response from some men one would assume would be obvious. Coming from other women remains a conundrum. Women being physically strong seems to bother a number of people, yet this would not apply to other areas. If a person said to a woman gaining higher education that she has become “too smart” it would immediately be challenged. Women’s bodies society believes need control. A woman can never be truly free until she has complete control of her body. This remains the last bastion for women achieving equality. Education and employment are essential measures,but control of one’s physical self is imperative. One step is to have reproductive rights strengthened. What should also be part of the process is women being allowed to look like whatever they want to without insults or harassment. The first step requires women to stop sabotaging one another.  Lori Braun describes an instance in which a client insulted a picture of one of her friends competing. Lori  rationally explained that her friend weighed less compared  to the woman making the offensive remarks. Women should not be insulting each other’s appearance. This only aids the system of misogyny based around a single beauty standard.

         The ignored element of this discussion is the false idea that people do not like the image of strong women. The argument is that if a woman gets to big men will not like them. There are men who have a vast variety in what is attractive. Muscular women to some men are the greatest thing ever. The exact number is not known. Many men hide this love due to fear of what friends and family might say. Fans might collect pictures, books,videos, and then hide them. The internet and by extension social media has exposed that there is a bigger following than previously thought. Even if this was not the case, some people just enjoy something that is not mainstream or widely accepted. Female muscle does have more exposure compared to the past considering there is more media. Yet, it started off as a small group of fans of female strength sports.  The irritating claim by detractors is that no man likes a muscular female physique. The growth of divisions in strength sports and the increase in women’s athletic participation just demonstrates there are fans. There also is a potential for  growth. The conversation about women being “too big” just needs to end. Doubtless of what people think, the women will continue to compete, train, and challenge prejudiced assumptions.

Lauri Braun : I Don’t Want to Get Too Big (2011)

Alisha Valdes: Are Men Actually Stronger Than Women- You Betcha (2012)

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Manly Monday – Are men actually stronger than women_ You betcha

Alisha Valdes is a journalist, author, and film producer who wrote “Fearless and Freaky ” a blog that featured some of here written pieces. The now defunct site would feature what was referred t as “Manly Mondays.” It was her personal opinions about the sexes and sex politics. At first the title asks a question are men stronger than women, which does not seem like a controversial statement. To an extreme social justice warrior this may cause them to be triggered. The more rational people see it as a general statement of biology, however the problem with Valdes is that she takes a perspective that would actually justify women being subject to a secondary role. The opposite end of the spectrum from  the social justice warrior  is the culture warrior. These individuals dream of a period in which traditional gender roles are rigidly imposed, race relations reverted back to the 1950s era, and religion plays a larger role in public life. These two extremes have polarized every area of American society from entertainment, politics, and even general discourse. There has been a movement to discredit social sciences as leftist propaganda driven by the far-right. History, sociology, and political science can tell us much about why human civilization developed the way it did. The problem related to this topic of biological sex difference it not between nature or nurture. It is how much do these two factors work together to produce an individual. Before addressing this, the concept of equality must be explained.

            Equality by definition is ” the state of having the same worth in terms of rights, status, and opportunities.” The person who either believes in racism, sexism, homophobia, or any other type of intolerance thinks equality should not exist. Their world view is tainted by the ideology that there is a superior group and a group of inferiors that either need to be enslaved or exterminated. Nations that value human rights, freedom, democratic institutions, and the regulation of political power tend to hold equality as a value. The reality is that most societies are pyramid structures with a hierarchy that is unequal. This pyramid structure can be seen in both authoritarian and democratic governments.  There has been progress in terms of improving the rights of citizens in certain countries. However, the more progressive branch in the left take an entirely different view on equality. Alisha Valdes describes this as equality meaning being the same. The context here is in sameness feminist views men and women women are not that different. This ignores both biology and psychology. The concept does not start with second wave feminism as Valdes claims, rather it got more mainstream with third wave feminism in the 1990s. Every individual is different physically and psychologically different regardless race, sex, sexual orientation, or nationality. People are the same in regards to being the same species. The argument is a flawed one, but the sameness concept is what some progressives and feminists have adopted. Looking at men and women you can see they are not physically the same. When discussing size and physical strength this is the first attribute of sexual dimorphism that can be noticed. This does not mean one sex is superior than the other, rather physical differences that developed from human evolution. The sameness feminist argument ignores that true definition of equality.

            Biology and physical difference has become a topic of debate among feminists. Some argue that focusing on biological difference only encourages placing women as the other. Others view discussing men’s greater physical strength as embracing the idea of male superiority. Certain power feminists believe they should challenge men in all things and strength should be another area. They ignore the fact that physiology and anatomy play a role in physical strength difference. Girls and boys are equal in terms of physical strength. The ratio to bone and muscle is not the great in total amount. Puberty strengthens the male body to a higher degree with an increase in bone density and muscle mass. It is not just the muscle mass that is strengthened. Ligaments and tendons are reinforced. The male body produces more androgens, which enable a lower body fat composition.   The upper body has more strength in males with broader shoulders. The female body has narrower shoulders and wider hips. Males tend to be taller than females on average. A larger skeleton means more room and support for muscle. Muscle fiber type dictates physical strength. Type II muscle fibers are the most important for explosive strength. These are more prevalent in men’s bodies and the fibers themselves are larger.

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Testosterone dramatically effects bones and muscles of boys during puberty.Girls do not gain a strength spurt.
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Through exercise and diet women can increase their physical strength.
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Men experience a higher degree of muscular hypertrophy from a weight training regimen

The average man has more strength than the average woman. However, this can vary depending on the individual’s size, height, health, and physical fitness condition. Training does not completely  negate the difference in strength. The strongest man could have more strength than the strongest woman. The National Institutes of Health study demonstrated that women can have an estimated 66% of strength of  a man of similar fitness level. That still a good amount considering men have more to start off with. A woman can certainly be stronger than a weak or average man. Unlike the facial hair analogy used by  Alisha Valdes, this case makes more logical sense. Humanity can manipulate its own biology, which means it is not impossible for women to gain strength. Equality does not mean equality in ability. While women may be able to have higher records in sports, this does not mean women cannot excel. Some people will juts be better at certain things. A scientist would be better at explaining natural phenomena than playing soccer.

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This astronaut has many skills that the strong man does not.
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He can lift more than the female astronaut. This is the only sense in which they are unequal.
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She is stronger than many men.
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This man is weaker than most women, but that does not mean he’s beneath them.

People are different, but they are the same in the sense they all have value. The issue related to sex politics is that women were not given the same rights or value. The erroneous remedy was the idea that women either were consider the same or should try to imitate men. The influence of biology is very powerful and trying to eliminate or ignore these difference could have devastating consequences. Is it unfair that there exists a physical strength difference between men and women? Not really seeing as this trait can vary when we look at individuals regardless of sex. There are people who are smarter and stronger than others, but that does not mean they have the right to dominate or rule over the masses. Humanity is a wonderful mix of different people.   The emphasis on science  should not be misinterpreted as biology is destiny. The environment can influence how a person develops.

     The difference in physical strength may not be entirely biological. Girls and women for a longtime were discouraged from developing themselves in terms of physical fitness. Professional sports were seen as male only and women who were athletes were constantly the subject of ridicule. Mass media and body image conformity disparaged women who did not fit the paradigm. Even today women athletes are criticized for having muscular bodies. The same body type on a man is not treated in the same way. It is seen as something natural. For women, it generates feelings of trepidation or abnormality. Lack of physical activity can also be detrimental to women’s health. Heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis become major concerns as people age. Fad diets and weight loss is marketed directly at women. This is not designed to improve health and fitness, rather make women as physically small as possible. Thinness to an unhealthy degree is promoted. The result can be psychological disorder . Anorexia has a higher rate in women compared to men. A woman constantly trying to make her self thin is not increase body strength. If young girls are bombarded with the image and concept that making yourself unrealistically thin is necessary the cycle will continue. Part of the reason strong women my invoke such negative reaction is because they could challenge most men on a physical level. Just the image seems like a threat to the notion that men have all the power. Women who demonstrate they can be strong are indirectly asked not to display it. They are told “don’t get too big” or “they are too much.” Even with the strong is the new skinny maxim women are not suppose to get so strong that they could overpower a man.

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The more muscular woman can be seen as a threat. If women are “toned” like the one on the right it is considered acceptable.
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Body image issues can also effect men. Muscle dysmorphia has become more common among young males. 
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Women are now defying the narrow definitions of  what it means to be a woman. There is a movement to embrace women of different sizes and shapes despite mainstream culture.

These irrational fears or hatreds are a metaphor for society’s suspicion of women’s growing political and social power.  Roles are have changed between men and women. The more traditional minded will struggle to adjust to these changes. Children growing up may not react badly to them, seeing as it is a new social environment. There is still gender bias demonstrated at an early stage of life. Physical education courses are modified for girls. This does not make sense seeing as the changes of puberty has not created the difference in physical fitness capacity. Women still have to fight for equality in the competitive sports arena. From a perspective of sports science, women have not been examined as much compared to their male counterparts. Therefore women may be using training methods that do not unleash their full physical fitness potential.   Gender roles do change with culture and transformations within a society. To a degree women’s bodies and health are controlled by this.

        There were some elements of traditional gender roles that did benefit women. Chivalry was one aspect that was more of a gain to women’s comfort than men’s. Alisha Valdes almost laments that such behavior is extinct. If there was some activity or chore that required strength or an element of danger men were expected to do it without question. It did not matter if it would harm their health or mental well being, just as long as the reward of female companionship was a possibility. This idea of men and women forms a common stereotypical images  of helpless damsel and heroic he-man. This dated notion of chivalry still remains present, even though it does not fit well in the modern world. If the expectation is that the sexes be treated equally, there should be no reason for a man to do extra for women. This also means that women do not owe men anything.  However, women still have the expectation that men should do everything for them while claiming to believe  in equality. Men are still expected to pay for dates, alimony, be drafted, and be the main provider all while acting like everything is fine. Men have limited emotional expression outlets, which may explain odd behaviors or extreme outbursts of violence. If true gender equality is to be established then both men and women should be treated the same way. That means having the same obligations and responsibilities.

       There is another reason why physical strength could be a concern for feminists. Exalting male strength would ignore strong women and promote a weaker sex stereotype. This may seem harmless, but it can effect people’s behavior. Women who enter traditionally male dominated occupations such as firefighting, law enforcement, construction, or the military are viewed as being less capable. The most common argument used against women in combat jobs is that they do not have the physical strength. Detractors normally make the claim standards will be lowered to accommodate women. The women who are successful are still perceived as being given the job on the basis of their sex or an unwanted presence. The weaker sex stereotype also makes it possible that more women are discouraged from entering such fields. If a young girl is told she cannot excel, she will never try to advance as an adult. Alisha Valdes initial statement about men being stronger is not wrong, but she comes to an incorrect conclusion. Waiting for a knight in shining armor to assist women is a dangerous path. The irony is that this was written by a woman who claimed to be a feminist. To a degree women did have a level of security under a traditional household, however their freedom was severely restricted. A new era has emerged. With the #Me Too movement, gender neutrality, and a developing fourth wave feminism it is uncertain what sex politics will be like in the coming decades. One change is clear is that women are gaining more power and they did not need to out muscle men to do it.

Alisha Valdes: Are Men Actually Stronger Than Women- You Betcha (2012)

The Conversation : Why Do We Find Muscular Women So Perplexing (2014)

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Why Are Muscular Women Perplexing

The topic of body image has  been discussed before on women’s sports sites. Rarely, is it discussed on mainstream media outlets or digital platforms . The Conversation breaks the tradition by reporting subjects not discussed by other news organizations. Muscular women and accomplished female athletes can either induce feelings of shock, confusion, disgust, or in extreme cases hatred. The question asked in the title is more so  rhetorical. Sexism,prejudice,  misogyny, and double standards are the reasons  why muscular women are viewed as strange or anomalies. There is irrational fears of the other or people that are different. Society even reacts negatively to people who do not share the same opinions or thoughts. This article explores aspects of both sociology, sex politics, and human behavior. Even women who have become prominent in the sports world still face a high amount of disrespect and sexist abuse. While the article focuses on the negative aspects of culture surrounding  strong women, it forgets that there is a level of support. Fans are also harshly ostracized for their support. This only shows how conformity stifles free thought and control behavior in a strict fashion. The views expressed by some may even be implanted at an early age, which explains why it is difficult to understand other perspectives. Change or discovery never came by people doing the same things or thinking alike. The muscular woman may have a deeper meaning about women’s growing power both socially and the wider society.

         The argument is that women of such physical strength and development are “unnatural.” Women somehow when they gain such strength lose their femininity. While this is false, it should be realized that gender roles are based on a culture and society in which people live. Biological sex is a product of millions of years of human evolution. The muscular woman in the context of gender roles disrupts the traditional views of “real men” and “real women.” As stated in the text ”     It challenges the assumption that all men are big, strong and powerful and that all women are smaller, weaker and dependent.” The female athlete  not only challenges this notion; they completely make it a fabrication. There is a female athlete that goes a step further developing the body to its highest degree: female bodybuilders. Muscular strength has for a longtime been associated with masculinity. Many men do not fit this narrow paradigm of the ideal masculine image. To a degree men are not as pressured to look a certain way, however that may be changing. Young men are now suffering from muscle dysmorphia in a manner that parallels women’s body image issues. Women who seek to challenge body image conformity are faced with more harassment and unwanted commentary. The muscular woman may induce fear in some.

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Although such a fear may seem comedic or just illogical, it is rooted in the unknowns of women attaining huge amounts of power. When women obtained suffrage, there was a fear that their new found right was going to be used to harm men. The argument of against women entering the workforce was that they would take away jobs from men. Basically, there was a paranoid fear of female take over. The accusation was that feminists did not want equality, rather a society that benefited women only. These were conspiracy theories, yet there are some men who see women’s participation in sports in the same manner.Women’s entry into politics, science, and business has caused a reaction from certain men who believe men should have all the power in society. Seeing as it is difficult to stop women’s rise some resort to controlling certain activities. Sports seem to remain a space in which men want absolute dominance. Physical strength was seen as a marker of male superiority over females, but seeing as women can be strong it calls into question the sense of masculine identity. The breadwinner and head of house hold role has gradually been broken down by neoliberal capitalism, unemployment, and changes in family structure. Physical activity, sports, and exercise may have become a space in which men can cope with an undefined role and the decay of society. The reaction could  result in unhealthy behavior which could include more hostility directed at women or projecting through acts of extreme violence. There is more to being a man than looking like Hercules. Sadly, men may not be able to explore alternatives while women still have to challenge a stereotypical gender role expectation. The muscular woman does not fit into such culturally accepted notions of what women should be.

           Double standards and prejudice  are so ingrained in relation to the sexes, few recognize the problem with it. Bodybuilding was seen as a male sport, but it is for everyone. Women have presented physiques that are both unique and have a new aesthetic. Men who are athletes get respect, yet women receive scorn : “muscular women are often accused of taking steroids, being deviant, sexually confused or deliberately trying to offend others.” These accusations reveal prejudice not only about female athletes, but women in general. The prejudice directed at women is that they are less capable, over emotional, and are only fit to be mothers. When women  go out of  the domestic role, then somehow that is a violation of the natural order.

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There is of course nothing natural about women being in a subordinate position or being second class citizens. It can be fair to say that the look may not be to one’s taste. The issue is that people may value women only for their appearance or sexual capital. Insults and pure abuse are directed at them: ” they’re frequently told they’re unattractive, man-haters, selfish mothers or transvestites.” The double standard is apparent seeing as men never have to confront these harsh comments. Praise or condemnation is determined by one’s sex. Prejudice does not only come from the uninformed or uneducated; even the most progressive minded people have bias they rarely acknowledge. Some may say they respect a woman’s right to do what they want.However, the articulation of their opinions do not reflect that. Women when participating in certain fields may either reach a class ceiling or regulated to a structural limitation. Women have shown the can be great bodybuilders in what incorrectly is called a male sport. The IFBB made fitness and figure competition to as a way to regulate the muscular appearance of women. The Conversation explains“Femininity is linked to a female body that is slender, neat and sexually attractive. Because the muscular female form is so challenging, sports such as body sculpting use femininity as a buffer to counter the fact that women also have muscle. (We don’t judge male bodybuilders on their masculinity, their “maleness”.).”While there were attempts to halt women’s development and progress they only thing these new classes did was get more women involved. The bikini division was the latest addition, which has drawn controversy. That is even going to change. The physique division has transformed itself into a lightweight female bodybuilding competition.  All these achievements from women in sports one would think that acceptance would come with it.

           The question asked is there a problem? There is, yet it needs to be correctly identified. Muscles on women’s bodies is not the issue and its not femininity. It is the more insidious sexism and misogyny that shapes the public’s views and culture. Femininity is viewed as a characteristic that is one dimensional. There is no reason to think that strength, power, and independence cannot coexist with femininity. If the boundaries of restricted space are to be broken, then it should be acknowledged that femininity is not a culprit. The only alternative would be to either completely condemn it or favor some form of gender neutral ideology. Doing this is basically saying if women resemble men more, they can achieve equality. That is not a solution nor is it practical. Sexism preaches a doctrine that men are superior to women. Men are just better is the philosophy, which has a basis in the false notion they are biologically stronger. When a woman demonstrates physical strength it discredits men’s monopoly on it. The hatred of women stems from the idea that they are manipulative, need to be controlled, or if they get power will abuse it. Women gaining strength has not resulted in a matriarchy.

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Seeing as women have made a rapid rise in sports, there is little basis to refer to them as inferiors. The sexist and misogynists become vexed, because their psuedoscientific explanations are discredited.   There are ideas still spread among laymen. Besides cultural attitudes, one should examine the structural problems related to sports institutions. The unequal pay, limited sports coverage, or limited platforms to compete remain barriers to women in sports. The lack of female coaches and sports teams owners only exposes a larger sex segregation in the sports world. Attitudes must change along with institutions. If not women will be subject to a secondary role or have limited visibility.

     Since the publication of this article, there has been a change in thought. There are fans who support women’s athletic endeavors. There are also male fans who not only are interested in women’s athletic accomplishments, but the new version of female beauty that has emerged from intense training. Although some would condemn this as sexual objectification, this goes beyond mere desire; it is admiration. Male fans may marvel of the sight of a woman’s impressive physique. The reality is a muscular physique on a woman can be just as attractive as a smaller or larger one. The text incorrectly calls fitness and figure competition body sculpting. The term is one of mass marketing in fitness which encourages women to lift weights. The concept is that if it was called weightlifting women would reject it due to it having a masculine association. Exercise can be done by both men and women. When a person lifts a weight that is bodybuilding, which in a sense is sculpting the flesh to look a certain way.

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There were muscular women in the past. Strongwomen, acrobats, and street performers were women who showed developed musculature. They were limited by their time seeing as women had few platforms to compete or develop their physiques to the maximum. Within half a century the modern professional sports woman presented a body that was stronger and bigger than ever before. This is a unique event in history that few observers take notice of. Women created an entirely new aesthetic body mage. The reason why some may find this perplexing is due to the fact the image is new . People either fear or are puzzled by what they do not understand. There are women who still focus  on weight loss   and thinness as a goal. Other have experienced a paradigm shift wanting to improve their athletic performance and get stronger. Such bodies on bodybuilding stages and Olympic podiums would not have been conceivable 112  years ago. It will take some time for people to get used to a woman of such physical power. It is not clear how this evolution of women’s physicality will progress. Women’s bodies and what they are capable of will be the subject of much discussion in the field of gender studies.

The Conversation : Why Do We Find Muscular Women So Perplexing (2014)