I was talking to a guy friend about the Yukon Huskies; a woman’s basketball team which recently won 100 straight games in a row (and counting) during this year’s NCAA tournament, something no other team in college basketball history (mens or womens) has ever done. (Check out the highlights here.) He shrugged and said “yeah but they’re women, mens basketball is more challenging.” He had a point, that men – who naturally have more testosterone in their bodies – tend to run faster, lift heavier, and generally perform on a higher athletic level. Here are some effects of testosterone:
- increased growth of muscle mass
- increased growth of muscle strength
- increased bone density and strength
- increased aggression and competitive behaviour
Women on the other hand, tend to have much less testosterone and more estrogen. “On average, in adult males, levels of testosterone are about 7–8 times as great as in adult females.” (Wikipedia, 2017) Both men and women have estrogen, but men have far less, and unfortunately for female athletes, estrogen causes an increase in fat stores.
Therefore, imagine performing athletics with less aggression, muscle mass ratio to fat, etc., you tell me, which is more impressive: the male body which is naturally equipped for athleticism, or the female body which isn’t?