Monday, 6 July 2015

Gender-Neutral Sports? Don't Be Ridiculous

The latest nonsense being spouted from the feminist lobby is the idea of gender-neutral sports. This is basically the idea that we should end the sex segregation in sports based on the feminist idea that men and women are equal in all respects, the only differences being reproductive and cosmetic.

Except that this is complete bullshit. Men and women have manifest and significant differences, which have a direct impact on their physical prowess.

Bone Structure
Men tend to have longer and larger bones compared to women, which provides a significant mechanical advantage. This can be illustrated by trying to open or close a door from the hinge side. The closer the application of force is to the fulcrum, the greater the force needs to be to provide the same effect. This works in reverse as well - the greater the distance from the fulcrum, the greater the effect created by the application of force. So, for example, if you consider a man throwing a discus, the fulcrum is his elbow joint. His forearm will tend to be longer than a woman's, and therefore assuming the same application of force, his hand will be moving faster. Therefore the discus will be moving faster, therefore it will go further, simply because his arm is longer.

The larger bone structure of men also confers another advantage - bigger bones can hold bigger muscles. Muscle size is directly proportionate to the level of force that can be applied to a situation. So men not only have a mechanical advantage in having bigger frames, but those bigger frames also allow them to have bigger muscles. As well as simple muscle size, men also tend to have denser muscle tissue. Both factors generally produce a significant increase in strength. They can apply more force to a larger mechanical frame, generally producing superior results in sports which involve throwing, running, jumping, kicking or punching.

Women have wider pelvises and therefore a lower centre of gravity than men, which gives them better balance. With women's muscles being smaller, but crucially less dense than men's, they tend to have greater flexibility. This gives women an advantage in sports such as gymnastics.

Cardiovascular Performance
All muscles are powered by the cardiovascular system - the blood vessels which pump oxygenated blood into the muscles. Men, having bigger bodies, tend to have bigger lungs (allowing them to inhale more oxygen), bigger blood vessels (allowing them to carry greater quantities of blood) and bigger hearts (allowing them to move greater quantities of oxygenated blood faster). They also tend to have higher levels of haemoglobin in their blood. This means that they can get more oxygen into their blood and get it to their muscles faster than women.

Body Fat
Men also tend to have lower body fat than women. Women's higher body fat is necessary from a reproductive point of view, but from an athletic point of view is effectively redundant, and therefore dead weight. This gives men significant advantages in speed and acceleration. Short distance running and swimming are therefore more likely to have male outperformance.

However, higher levels of body fat are useful to women - they provide additional reserves and give women higher endurance than men. As a consequence, women are less likely to reach extreme exhaustion in ultra-long races, which can make up for their lower speed and acceleration.

As discussed earlier, men have thicker bones and denser muscle tissue. They also tend to have tougher ligaments. The combination of these factors also makes men less prone to injury, and also reduces the impact that such injuries have on performance. This gives men significant advantages in combat sports, such as boxing, judo and wrestling.

Put simply, this notion that we're all the same on the inside, and this feminist idea of casting gender as purely a social construct, is nonsense. Gender is not a social construct - it as a biological fact of life. Men and women, certainly from an athletic point of view, have significant differences, which generally give men an advantage. This is borne out by Olympic and World records - men's results and outcomes tend to be 10% higher than women's for most sports. This has been consistent for nearly 40 years. There are some sports where women are able to compete on the same terms as men, or even have an advantage, but they are relatively few.

Sex segregation exists in sport for a very good reason - that it is manifestly unfair to compare women's sporting achievements directly to men's, because they are generally operating with a 10% physical disadvantage. Men tend to be better than women at sports.