The title seems to be some what of a hyperbole. The study conducted revealed that women process exactly 30% more oxygen more efficiently compared to their male counterparts. This has been suspected for sometime,but it looks like it has finally been confirmed. Oxygen uptake is only one element of physical fitness. Women can obviously reach a certain physical fitness level through training and diet. However, men have higher absolute peak physical fitness. This includes attributes such as muscular strength and speed. Women it seems have more muscular endurance as revealed by another study produced this year. The University of Waterloo in Ontario conducted a study involving 18 subjects. All these men and women were active. They performed treadmill exercise and researchers concluded women process oxygen more quickly. Thus it may seem that women have more efficient in terms aerobic fitness. This does challenge the conventional belief that the male body is just naturally more athletic compared to women’s bodies. Women do have athletic advantages and biological sex does not seem to be a limitation.
Peak physical fitness refers to how strong, fast, and how much endurance an athlete can get through exercise and diet.Once an athlete reaches their physical peak, they can no longer improve any further. Men have more muscular strength even when the training regimen is the same. The muscle cells do not differ between men and women. The strength difference is related to several factors . Body size is a factor and on average men are larger. Males have denser bones including larger tendons and ligaments. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association women can produce two thirds the muscular force of a man. This is an estimate of 66% and the remaining percentage has to do with the upper body. Men have more upper body strength.
Women are closer to men in the lower body. Considering the histology of the muscle is similar for men and women, they can gain strength at the same rate through strength training. To do so a person must train to their threshold using progressive overload. Men have higher absolute strength based on endocrinology and body composition. Men have a greater amount of type II muscle fibers and higher amount of testosterone that aid in protein synthesis. Women have a higher estrogen level allowing for more fat. These biological and physiological differences are not entirely closed by training. What stops women from have equal muscular strength after a training regimen is the difference in skeletal size, body composition, and difference in hormones.
Relative to absolute strength levels a female athlete could be strong as or stronger than the average man. It is rare that women could reach the same level of an equally trained man. However, there can be overlap although very small. Running speed and aerobic fitness is important to sports. Women have smaller hearts and lungs which will effect running speed. This means a woman’s vo2 max is lower in comparison. Lower hemoglobin levels mean less oxygen being transported. Oxygen is essential for the tissues of the body.
Women may have more muscular endurance. During exercise they seem less prone to fatigue. It seems in various studies women were able to contract muscle groups over long periods of time. Men still had more strength, but could not keep up with the contract muscle groups as long as women in exercise physiology studies. The title is incorrect saying women are fitter than men. A more accurate title would be women have a physical fitness advantage in oxygen use.
The researchers conducted their experiment following the regular procedure of the scientific method. The 18 subjects did a treadmill test. Their heart rates were monitored as well as oxygen content in their tissues. What was also studied was their oxygen levels between their veins and arteries. The total tests were four in total and were moderate intensity. There are some questions that must be asked. Were these subjects longtime or novice athletes or casual exercisers? This can make a difference in results. There obviously is a difference in physical fitness levels between the average person, moderate exerciser, and the professional athlete.
If this study wanted to be very precise it would have to have a larger sample size. This sample size would have to include those moderate exercisers, average people, and professional athletes. Only then could a more lucid picture be given. Nine men and nine women may simply not be enough for an experiment. Also there needs to be a detailed account of their fitness activity. If women in this study trained harder than the men it would distort results. Comparing a fit woman to an unfit man does not reveal much. The men who were in the study one can assume trained just as hard or with a similar method. Science should aim for precision, rather tan just accuracy. The actual test with the treadmill seems like the best method of acquiring data. Only if the results can be replicated can this be regarded as scientific fact.
The results found that women have a physiological advantage. Their oxygen up take was more efficient resulting in less muscle fatigue. Women’s muscles extract oxygen from the muscles faster. This indicates that women’s aerobic capacities could be more efficient relative to their male counterparts. Normally, the assumption was that men would have the most physical advantages due to biological, anatomical, and physiological differences. Professor Beltrame even stated ” this shakes up conventional wisdom.” It is still unknown why women have this advantage. This study was published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism . One theory is it could be related to women being capable of pregnancy. An efficient oxygen transport would be required to sustain a baby during the gestation process. Another possibility is that it is related to human evolution. The hominins of the past may have needed males to have a higher physical fitness capacity to do hunting, while females concentrated their physical functions on child birth. These are only speculations, not facts.
Why do men have higher running speeds if women are more efficient with oxygen up take? It is related to the structure of the female pelvis. It is wider which alters biomechanical function. The muscles of the legs are the same, but men just have larger ones. This study is still useful even if it has flaws. Analyzing sex specific differences can contribute to designing training programs to improve women’s performance. Women are not physically inferior it is just their total physical fitness capacity is lower compared to men in particular areas of physical fitness. Exercise physiologists and health scientists are just now uncovering women’s physical advantages in athletic performance. Most studies have been done for male athletes and seeing as women are different this did not help understand how to design better training programs. Despite the biological and physiological differences women can develop into impressive athletes. Being female does not limit physical fitness potential.
According to a scientific study conducted at the University of British Columbia women have more endurance compared to their male counterparts. Brian Dalton a neurophysiologist discovered this by examining men and women of the same physical fitness level. They were grouped according to age and athletic ability for precision. There is a growing body of evidence that women could be better suited for endurance based athletic events. Women may soon be breaking records in larger numbers in ultra-marathon events. This study reveals many aspects about exercise physiology. There is still much more to learn about the physical capabilities of women. Training programs have to take into consideration biological and physiological differences for maximum efficiency in physical fitness goals. Although men are more physically powerful, women do have physical advantages.Assuming this finding is scientific fact, the same results should be easily replicated. There also remains bias that has been present. Social barriers have traditionally kept women out of sports, but this has gradually changed. It may be too premature to say that women en mass will be beating men at ultra-marathon events. However, nothing is impossible.
Historically their has been many pseudoscientific myths surrounding women’s bodies. It has been thought that the female body was too weak for physical activity. Then there was also cultural bias. Women who showed physical skill were either viewed a unlady like or masculine. Other social barriers such as not having a platform to compete. Women only began competing in marathons in 1984. Katherine Schwitzer was the first woman to compete in the Boston Marathon in 1967.
The Olympic Marathon athletes from 1984 to 2016 show that even though women were excluded, they have made progress in a short amount of time.
Ludicrous arguments were made about why women should not participate in marathons. The argument was that it would damage their health. The only way this would happen is if an athlete did over training or did not get enough rest. The idea of female weakness was discredited when more women became active in various sports. Women’s muscles do not differ from men’s muscles. They respond to strength training regimes, which means the female body is capable of developing strength.
Gender roles and the concept of appropriate femininity are still persistent biases. There are many who believe their are certain activities that women should not do. Sports,even though women have been a part of the culture and activity are still seen as a male only domain. Women who have powerful looking bodies are either ostracized or harassed by the mainstream culture. It is no wonder why many women are discouraged from participating in sports with such negativity. Combined with lack of funding and media exposure the female athlete has to struggle on many levels. Despite these obstacles new talent continues to emerge and perform well. It will take more research to fully end the common myths still prevalent about women’s physical fitness capacities. This will require more women being involved in the physiological sciences and sports.
Surprisingly there are women who have bested men in endurance events, prior to the study. Lael Wilcox won the Trans AM, becoming the first woman to do so. She was able to beat many male riders in the race. Caroline Boller saw an impressive victory at the Brazos Bend. These performances demonstrate that women are capable of high performance. The ability of the common female athlete beating a man of similar training and or fitness level is questionable.
These two athletes perform on male levels due to their unique genetics and physiology. They are exceptions, rather than part of the mathematically normal distributions. Then it should be considered that their biological differences based on their sex do work in their favor. Women have less type II muscle fibers compared to men, but still have more type I which are more fatigue resistant. Type II muscle fiber has more power, yet it is not as fatigue resistant. This may be the explanation into why women would do well at such events.
It seems unlikely that women would be able to match men in sprinting in which type IIA , IIAB, and II B are necessary. They use more energy and have more force. It is not entirely impossible that women could beat men at marathon events in the future.
The findings from the study revealed many interesting pieces of information. Women after exercise were less exhausted from physical activity compared to their male counterparts. The subjects were asked to do calf raises for the experiment. Men’s power recordings dropped 15% compared to women during 200 repetitions. This led to the conclusion that women could outlast men in muscular endurance. The same included nine women and eight men who also were asked to flex their feet against sensors as fast as they could.
The problem with this experiment is that it only studied one isolated muscle group. If this experiment were to be precise it would have to involve more than just the lower body. The question remains would the results would be the same if it were done on the upper body. It is possible that the results would be the same doubtless. Muscle fiber would behave in the same matter no matter where it is on the body. Isometric contraction studies show that women have normally had more muscle endurance. Findings from Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism suggest women can last longer in dynamic exercise.
While women do not reach the same levels of strength as a men, they can last longer during exercise sessions. This leads researchers to conclude that if an ultra- ultra marathon event were to be created women may dominate it. This could have wider applications. Exercise programs could be designed to reduce fatigue in physically demanding occupations. This may also open more possibilities in understanding the physiology of the muscular system. If only this year strength genes were identified, there could be a possibility of genes related to muscular endurance. This may vary among individuals regardless of sex. Knowing such differences can make it easier for women to improve athletic performance. This study and other should fully discredit the myth that women’s bodies are not capable of anything the require physical rigor. Exercise physiology will have to do more experiments and study of women in athletics. Studies that use only men will not be helpful, because biologically and physiologically women are different. Realizing this has generated more interest in understanding how to design the best fitness program for a female athlete.
I wanted to say a special thank you to longtime readers and visitors. Without your support this would not be possible. This blog has reached 300 posts so far and I’m hoping to see it grow more. I would like to celebrate by sharing some wonder photographs.
Rin Nakai is a Japanese mixed martial artist. She was born in 1986 and started her fighting career in 2006. Nakai worked her way up in competition and by 2014 became ranked tenth ranked bantamweight champion by 2014. Rin Nakai then fought longtime martial artist and wrestler Kanako Murata. Another notable challenger she fought was Meisha Tate. This ended in defeat, but Tate has known to be a formidable opponent. Nakai’s stats include 19 wins and only two lost matches so far in her career. There was only one match in which ended in a draw. Her KO stat is 6-0 and her submission stands at 7-0. Nakai competes in the flyweight class. Formally she competed in a higher weight class . Rin Nakai at first was competing at 145 lbs and stands at 5ft 1in tall. Now a flyweight she competes at 125 lbs. She has competed for UFC, but decided to compete for Pancrase Venus. Rin Nakai may compete in the US again, but that remains uncertain. There was a level of excitement to see this new face come to the UFC. However, it did not seem to last. It is clear that Nakai will be around for sometime in the world of MMA.
The MMA craze has spread in North America, yet in Japan it struggles. Rin Nakai revealed in an interview that this is attributed to a struggling economy and the damage done by the 2011 Tsunami that resulted in the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Pancrase the number one MMA organization in Japan still continues to function. The situation differs for male and female fighters. Nakai stated “women’s MMA is getting worse in Japan because the number of females joining the sport is steadily decreasing.” Rin Nakai believes it has to do with gyms and management of such facilities.
Rin claims that in training gyms guys are too aggressive with women during practice. This may be off putting to a woman who is attempting to start a fighting career. Learning something new can be a challenge. Nakai articulated that their is an atmosphere of sexism present in which men do not take female fighters seriously. As Nakai revealed “female fighters are not even seen as fighters, but sex objects.” Rin has also spoken about the general lack of disrespect for female fighters. Sadly, it seems widespread when Nakai discussed it : ” in my personal experience, sometimes guys don’t even show respect for me even when I have won two championship belts.” These types of attitudes are not uncommon in the sports world. Yet, they do mirror a problem with Japanese society. It is very conservative to an extent and gender roles are no exception. From female only subway cars to issues surrounding employment Japan has to work hard to fight sexism in society. This is the reason Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a policy of womenomics. This policy is designed to have Japanese women stay in the workforce and be active in the business community. This program needs female role models to work. Nakai has in a sense become a role model and is doing womenomics her own way.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Rin has still thinks there can be change : ” I can hold hope that the guys in MMA will learn to have a ladies first attitude and a gentlemen’s spirit.” The reality is that chivalry is not going to be part of the culture. Women like the opponents they fight, will have to confront the detractors and the negative attitudes. The only way change will come is by being proactive. That is why it is critical that more women become active in the sport and serve as guides to neophytes . Nakai can be a trainer to other women once she retires from fighting. This can lead to a new generation of female fighters.
Seeing Nakai’s records of wins it is obvious she has a great method of training. The strange part of this is that she does not have a specific training partner. Anyone she can find to spar with is helpful to her training. Normally she trains at Shooto Dojo Shikoku. Rin Nakai trains seven hours a day. During this period she does four workouts. She runs, lifts weights, wrestling, judo, boxing, kickboxing, jui-jistu, circuit, and cross training. This method of various forms of exercise seems to have paid off when she competes in the ring.
Not all athletes can say that they have only two losses in their career thus so far. It is not about solely winning matches; its about entertainment. Nakai’s matches are always entertaining. It was rumored that Pancrase was developing a possible video game that would feature the likeness of some of its fighters. Nakai admits she has never played a video game, however if she were a playable character she would try it. Nakai most likely will stay with the Pancrase promotion, because of the treatment of its athletes. Athletes are free to voice opinions or discuss concerns. Nakai has said that she never faced any discrimination from the organization based on her sex. The harsh aspect of MMA organizations is that they do not always treat their athletes fairly in terms of pay and stipulations on contracts. This might explain why Rin Nakai left the UFC due to irreconcilable conflicts. That is the UFC’s loss. Only 31 years old she still has a number of years on the competitive circuit. Some fans want to see a Nakai and Tate rematch, but this may never happen. Rin Nakai will have many more opponents to face and beat.
The Frailty Myth is a monograph written by Colette Dowling that states two questions “can women be equal to men as long as men are physically stronger ?” and “are men in fact stronger?” Dowling claims that the answer is that “strength and physical skill for all women is only a matter of learning and training.” She states that the strength gap and performance gap can close when ” when women and men are matched in size and level of training.” Her reasoning is not exactly correct. She is right that physical prowess and athleticism is not male only. There have been plenty of skilled and talent athletes that have emerged in various sports over the years. There are sociological issues that prevent women in many ways from reaching higher in the sports world. many women simply do not have the opportunity to do so. It is clear that environment does play a role. This does not mean biology does not play a role. The third wave feminist argument is to base such differences on environment only. Dowling’s work it states almost women could have sports performance levels equal to men. There are biological, anatomical, and physiological reasons why there is a performance gap. This gap will most likely shrink with sociological barriers and stigmas are eliminated. When that occurs the records may not equal men’s. Unless there is some radical change in human evolution or physiology millions of years from now, there may in our life times no significant change. If she wanted to make the best argument, her writing should have had more sources from exercise physiology journals. Without them, the text has less cogency when tested against biological, anatomical, and physiological science.
Dowling states there should be a new way of assessing performance. It does raise a legitimate question. Who and what is being compared ? Obviously the comparison is between men and women at high physical fitness levels. Comparing a female athlete to an out of shape man does not prove the argument. The assessment here should examine both male and female athletes of the same training level. The comparisons must be of women and men involved in the same sports.
Besides the biological, physiological, and anatomical differences there has to be an account for individual variation. The variation in natural physique can differ among people no matter what their biological sex is. Certain body types people are born with. Other body types are better suited for particular sports. Long distance runners are more on the ectomorphic side, compared to weightlifters. Comparisons should be of women and men who are both the same height and weight. Accurate record keeping is comparatively new to the history of sports. Since it has began, human performance has improved. The reason could be a great understanding of the human body, training methods, and improve healthcare. There is also the factor of performance enhancing drug use, which can distort data. Women too have improved, but there remains a 10% difference in performance. Granted women had to overcome ( and still do) barriers in the sports world their rise has become rapid. It is however doubtful that women would be competing with men in mixed categories in certain sports.
There are some biological differences that explain performances level variation. These differences are influenced by genes. Men contain XY chromosomes, while females just contain XX chromosomes . The difference can be seen on the 23rd pair. The SRY gene in men produces sex determining region Y protein. This protein is responsible for male characteristics. This causes the development of the testes in the fetus. This will later have an impact on the physiques of men. Women do not have this have this happen. They develop ovaries. The gonads will produce different hormones and have an effect on the endocrine system during puberty. The primary biological difference between the sexes is the reproductive system. This is also connected to hormonal differences in relation to the varying levels of testosterone and estrogen. Androgens do provide men an athletic advantage, but estrogen contributes to athletic performance. Estrogen can aid in muscle recovery after work out sessions. Some research suggests that it acts as an antioxidant prevent possible inflammation. Colette Dowling is correct in stating that this sex hormone does not put women at a disadvantage.
The female athlete has to take into considerations specific health issues. These are related to concussions, ligament or tendon injuries, or menstrual irregularities. If a woman over trains hypoestronic amenorrhoea can occur. This is a condition in which estrogen is low and periods cease. The menstrual cycle itself is not a disadvantage to women athletes, yet their still is an effect on the body. The factors that could cause female athletes to be susceptible to irregularities include low body fat, late menarche, immature reproductive axis, and poor nutrition. Biological differences do influence physical fitness capacity.
Anatomy the science of body structure also explains gaps in athletic performance. The skeleton has morphological differences between the sexes. Women’s skeleton’s are less dense .Women have a wider pelvis which effects running speed. The thoracic cage also differs in women. It tends to be rounder and not as large. A larger skeleton means that there is more room to house muscle on the body. The structure of the pelvis also makes the legs of women form what is called a Q angle. This is one reason why the fastest woman would not be able to out run the fastest man. Denser and large bones add to a biomechanical advantage. The muscular structure does not differ. Women have the same muscles, yet total amount causes the difference in absolute strength. Men have less body fat to begin with and a higher percentage of muscle. Women can still build muscle mass, yet retain a higher body fat percentage. Men have more upper body strength and women come closer to the lower body. Some researchers even believe that men’s muscle fibers might even be larger. This combined with a larger portion of type II muscle fibers allow for more power. The respiratory system of men and women also play a role in athletic performance. Women have smaller hearts and lungs, which means total aerobic capacity could be lower.
Oxygen and blood work together to provide the body energy during intense physical activity. The lungs engage in gas exchange taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. The heart technically is a muscle that pumps blood. The tissue of the body requires oxygen for function. The nervous system is also active in the process of movement both voluntary and involuntary. The anatomical structures do influence performance, but function is critical as well.
Physiology describes the function of and mechanisms of an organism. The Frailty Myth would benefit from having greater explanations into sports medicine and sports science. The physiological differences also account for athletic performance gap. Oxygen has to be transported to the muscles so that it can produce adenosine triphosphate. This allows for muscular contractions. Men’s aerobic power is greater due to the fact they have higher hemoglobin levels. This makes oxygen get to the tissues faster compared to the function in a woman’s body. The greater amount of testosterone men have allows for greater protein synthesis. receptors bind to muscle cells initiating the process. This androgen also increase growth hormone which is released during exercise. It should be understood this is only one factor that is involved in muscular hypertrophy. Growth factors also contribute which include insulin, insulin like growth factor 1, heptocyte growth factor, and fibroblast growth factor. The biggest factor is metabolic function. Women metabolized food differently meaning more of it could be converted into fat stores.
Training is critical to any athlete, but diet cannot be ignored. The physiological differences in women must be accounted for if a training regimen is to be designed for maximum performance. There is still much to be learned, because most of the exercise physiology studies have been done on male athletes. Although the monograph suggest another technique of measuring performance in terms of biomechanics ( using height ), it still is clear that there is a gap. Ellis Cashmore’s mathematics is correct when measuring relative velocity between Florence Griffith Joyner and Carl Lewis. However, it is unlikely she would have reached his exact speed or surpassed it.
Dowling was quoting a ports sociologist, however the assessments of Per-Olof Astrand seem more accurate. There is room for improvement in women’s records. Overtime there will be improvement when more is discovered about the human body’s exact physiological functions. The anatomical, physiological, and biological factors are explanations for differences in performance. Yet its should be realized that other factors are playing a role in outcomes.
If the idea that women could reach physical performance levels equal to men were to be experimented, some conditions would have to change. Colette Dowling provides a great explanation of how performance is effected by sociological factors. There has been many medical myth surrounding women’s bodies and exercise. Psuedoscience from 19th century Victorian medicine was designed to discourage women from using their bodies. During that period women were thought to need a rest cure, before they entered puberty. Too much exercise was though in some circles of the medical community to cause “genital decay.” The medical community, eugenicists, and physical educators believed the only purpose a woman had was to reproduce children. The idea the female body was too weak for strenuous activity was common place. When this was disproved there were still efforts to exclude women from the sports world.
While today it has become better. it is not an equal playing field. Girls are not taught physical skills to the same degree as boys at a young age. Physical education is not taught the same way to girls. Skills such as running and throwing are not normally passed on to girls. Besides strength and speed, skill is also important to athletic performance. Boys do not naturally throw better at a young age, they are taught to. Girls rarely get that type of training from their fathers. From ages one to thirteen there is no difference in physiological capacity between girls and boys, yet the physical education standards are different. As girls mature into women, they face extreme body image pressure. The woman who wants to pursue athletic endeavors may not have access to the best training facilities. The goal of an experiment is to have the most precise measurements. These sociological factors effect measurements. Until this changes, records will only be accurate. Women have come far considering in just a short period of time. The question how much they can improve athletically is still a mystery. It would be too presumptuous to say that improvement never happen.
The concept of physical equality that Dowling proposes is a peculiar one. She states that” strength and physical skill for all women is only a matter of learning and training.” The physical capabilities of individuals vary. There are obviously men stronger than other men. Using the term physical equality implies that women are by default in a state of physical inferiority. Nature does not create organisms that are inferior. According to such logic, certain organisms should not be extinct. Neanderthals were much stronger than the homo sapiens, but failed to acclimate to a rapidly changing environment. Thus using physical strength as a basis of measuring “superiority” or “inferiority” has no scientific basis. How strong a woman can get depends on certain factors. Genetics, body type,diet, and training method account to the extent of total strength capacity.Men just on average have the ability to be physically stronger.
Sexual dimorphism is the result of millions of years of primate evolution. It has been theorized that it developed out of the specific needs of the environment and the process of sex selection. The average size and height difference between men and women relates to an emphasis on male competition for females in the human evolutionary past. If there was not such an emphasis, men and women would be of a similar size. That does not mean there cannot be variation within the human species. There is phenotypic and genotypic combinations that make individuals unique while still being part of the same species. Height, weight, and skin color vary among human populations. Being female does not automatically mean weak. Women have to train harder to reach a particular physical fitness level. This means if a woman is attempting to perform on the same physical level as a man she would have to use more of her physical power reserve.
Strength is harder for women to attain, but it can be done. It is still debatable whether or not women should train like men or have a program tailored to them. The best approach is to load bearing exercises to allow for enough micro-trauma to cause muscular growth. Smaller weights may not be as effective.
A 132 pound woman untrained should be according to rough estimates able to bench at least 64 pounds. If training remains consistent in a few months could reach 82 pounds. Jennifer Thompson who is an elite weightlifter benched 300 lbs only weighing a total of 132 herself. The average male weightlifter novice’s bench press can be 135 lbs. Women can reach a male novice lifting strength level or intermediate. Others like Jennifer Thompson could possibly overlap ( 290 lbs is the highest range for bench press). The conclusion that could be drawn follows a model of Gaussian distribution. This graphically shows the function of probability. The middle of such a graph shows the common average ( men are stronger than women ) while there are opposite ends of the graph showing showing other variables ( women stronger than men or weaker men ). Normal distribution is a useful too in statistics and analysis of data.
What can be drawn from this is that women at elite levels will not perform exactly like their male counterparts. The strongest woman will not be as strong as the strongest man. The weakest woman would be weaker than the weakest man. Through training a woman can at least reach or come close to average male strength.
An Experiment that measures hand grip strength. Looking at the pictures below it gives an idea of where men and women would fall in terms of physical strength.
The strongest women and the weakest men. Obviously them being male does not automatically make them stronger.
The strongest men and the weakest women. Men have a higher potential at gaining more strength.
It is rare that women surpass men in strength given the same training regimen. There are unique exceptions that can exist. Here is another problem with Dowling’s concept of physical equality. There are women who have surpassed men in physical strength already. The goal seems to have been reached when comparing a man of a low or average fitness level. Colette Dowling’s approach to her argument is not based on a scientific method.
The scientific method functions on particular methods to reach facts. She states her hypothesis the first step in the process. The athletic performance of both men and women is both testable and observable. It does not have compatibility with other hypothesis, although it is a newly investigated question. The claim that the strength gap will close can go through a process of experimentation. The women would be the independent variable. To get precise data one would either have to examine Olympic records or make this a controlled experiment among selected subjects. Observation has been an important part of the sciences. A controlled setting can reveal more than attempting to do this at an actual sporting event. After observation the data must be analyzed then possible conclusions can be made. The experiments must be done again to prove that the hypothesis is correct. Only then can it be called scientific fact. Men and women of the same height and weight are not equivalent in all areas of body strength. Women who are the same height and weight of a man can be estimated to have at least 80% absolute strength. What accounts for the difference is upper body size. This explains why men’s records are higher in weightlifting and shot put. Women’s records have remained stable since 1983. There remains a 10% difference in athletic performance.
When’s performance falls with in the range of a 90% ratio. This indicates that their is the possibility that women’s athletic performance can increase. There are athletic advantages women have in terms of flexibility and the utilization of fat. Looser joints aid in figure skating and gymnastics. Women may have an advantage in distance swimming due fat. This may allow for higher bouncy and reduce drag in water. It has been theorized that women may have more muscular endurance compared to their male counterparts. Women have physical advantages, it is only now that they are being examined. The conclusion is very different from Dowling’s. Women will not close the performance gap, but narrow it. It is correct to say that the female body is not biologically inferior or frail. Peak physical fitness levels are higher in men based anatomical, biological, and physiological factors. However, this does not stop women from achieving high levels of performance. As more women enter the exercise physiology field and sports science there may be new discoveries into the extent of women’s physical fitness capacity. Dowling’s work only partially withstands a scientific investigation.