Friday, August 27, 2010

The difference in strength between men and women may be greater than you think.

In The Angels principle, Mr. Richardson refers to this blog entry's citation of an article by David Puts:

When fat-free mass is considered, men are 40% heavier (Lassek & Gaulin, 2009; Mayhew & Salm, 1990) and have 60% more total lean muscle mass than women. Men have 80% greater arm muscle mass and 50% more lower body muscle mass (Abe, Kearns, & Fukunaga, 2003). Lassek and Gaulin (2009) note that the sex difference in upper-body muscle mass in humans is similar to the sex difference in fat-free mass in gorillas (Zihlman & MacFarland, 2000), the most sexually dimorphic of all living primates.

These differences in muscularity translate into large differences in strength and speed. Men have about 90% greater upper-body strength, a difference of approximately three standard deviations (Abe et al., 2003; Lassek & Gaulin, 2009). The average man is stronger than 99.9% of women (Lassek & Gaulin, 2009). Men also have about 65% greater lower body strength (Lassek & Gaulin, 2009; Mayhew & Salm, 1990), over 45% higher vertical leap, and over 22% faster sprint times (Mayhew & Salm, 1990).

(Puts, David, A. “Beauty and the Beast: Mechanisms of Sexual Selection in Humans.” Evolution & Human Behavior 31.3 (2010): 157-75.)


So why should women be serving as firefighters and LEOs? Strength-training for women is limited by the material. If you have two LEOs trying to subdue a suspect, do you want two men or one man and one woman?

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