As a former professional dancer (modern, with ballet training) I will add that women have more knee and shoulder injuries than men. I wonder if any of these studies covered injuries in women. Because we must be flexible in the birth process, women are more flexible in almost all joints, with a larger range of flexibility, in general, than men, yogis notwithstanding.

As a trans widow, I can tell you that my former husband was insanely jealous of my flexibility and my female hip-to-shoulder ratio. He hated his own large hands and feet, a typical obsession of men with this psychiatric illness of body dissociation with an obsessive sexual component.

He's also obsessed with doing martial arts and defending himself, claiming the false statistics on "vulnerable" cross-dressers being attacked (women like me are attacked far more than cross-dressing men, who are perceived as men, perceived as figures who will fight back) He spars on a women's team and although he's under 6 ft tall, he's a formidable and wiley opponent, I know from our joking "wrestling" during the marriage.

Women must be aware that trying to lift as heavy or have the speed of men can cause injuries. For a window into healthy mind/body work (designed by me, a medium sized woman, I'd like to know the male reaction) here's a short clip from Ute Heggen youtube channel, where trans widows' recovery from the trauma is the theme:


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thank you for your well researched and presented article. it really shouldn't need to even be said. but in these insane times it needs to be. it's obvious and necessary. and it's a good thing. men and women are different.

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Jan 4, 2023·edited Jan 4, 2023

Thank you for your excellent review. It agrees with my own personal observations about the differences between men and women. Men are clearly stronger and faster than women. There's no contest at all. It's a shame that we have to spend our time proving the obvious. But these are the times we live in.

Let me be candid. I've always been extremely bad, laughably bad at every sport and have absolutely no interest in professional or amateur sports. None. My primary concern is not for the"elite" athletic girl or woman, but for all the average or below average, uncoordinated female nerds. The girls who hated mandatory gym classes. The last ones to be picked for every team. The girls who became the women like me.

It was humiliating enough to have to compete against the other girls when I was in high school. It would have been suicide-inducing torture to have to compete against the boys, too. It's for this reason, I vehemently reject the idea that just because every now and then you can dig up a girl or woman who outperforms the average boy or man, that means sex doesn't count. It does count. It counts enormously.

Get boys off the girls teams, and kick the men out of women's sports. It isn't right. And it isn't fair to either the girls and women's sports stars or to all the uncoordinated nerds like me.

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No amount of this type of rational and objective examination of biology will sway the trans zealots. For them the fact that the sex based differences encompass so many anatomical and physiological factors - from chromosomes to muscle mass- is simply ignored, or derided as not really facts at all and merely a function of classification style. Then their logic of cherry picking the odd biological anomaly to suit their political aims is at least understandable, even if it is reprehensible.

What I cannot get my head around is why so many otherwise rational people, from rape crisis managers to hospital CEOs, sports and university administrators, politicians and school boards, swallow the trans-propagandists’ bull that biology has nothing to do with being a woman. It’s akin to chairs have 4 legs-pigs have 4 legs-all chairs are pigs muddle-headedness that would at best generate a snort of derision in any other context. But rephrased as some girls can’t have babies- some men can’t get pregnant-therefore anyone with a penis can be a woman, it is not only accepted as gospel, but those who demure are persecuted as criminals.

It’s the most mystifying social contagion I’ve ever come across.


The knee and shoulder injury issues are also to an extent a function of muscle anatomy and physiology. Both are inherently unstable joints and rely on muscle function to stabilise them.

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You can present all the statistics and facts possible to make your case, but the sports organizations and associations will continue with the mantra TWAW and TMAM. And female athletes don't count.

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Your work is excellent. Well thought out and presented. Thank you.

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In a former career as a trainer, I observed the sexed differences in weightlifting that you outline here. Studying polemology, I have learned to recognize they are evolved around warfare in men versus resources in women. Larger upper-body strength differentials are a heuristic of inter-male status competition.

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Maybe it's so obvious as to be unnecessary to state, but I'm surprised that almost nowhere in your piece do you specify that you're talking about "on average". If on average women are 50-70% as strong as men across a range of muscles, but it's also not uncommon to find men and women who are twice or half as strong as the average for their sex, then clearly it's not true that "men are stronger than women", yet that's the kind of language that you use throughout the piece.

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"There is however no evidence that men and women differ in their ability to voluntarily activate their muscles with their nervous system—a measurement called voluntary activation." - I don't know how extensively this has been studied via rigorous scientific method, but we do have a lot of anecdotal evidence that there might be a difference. Woman almost universally can do many more reps closer to their 1RM than men. For example, if we take a very strong woman and an average man who trains - both have a 1RM of 250 in the bench press. If we put 225 on the bar and tell them to do as many reps as possible, the man will likely get 3 reps, maybe 4 at most. The woman will likely get 5-8 reps.

Similarly, a woman's 5 rep max is usually 90-93% of her 1RM, whereas men's is usually more like 84-87% of their 1RM. These numbers are estimates, and vary person to person, but are roughly accurate across large numbers, based on hundreds of observations.

I've personally observed this hundreds of times, and colleagues or lifters (both men and women) who I mention it to, usually haven't noticed it but after I mention it, say, wow you know what, you're right, I never really noticed that difference before.

I don't know, but suspect, that this is due to differences in neuromuscular efficiency, probably mediated by testosterone in both the womb and in post-birth development (esp puberty). The result is that men can recruit more motor units voluntarily, so can achieve closer to a true "1RM" of maximal motor unit recruitment. Whereas women cannot, and thus their 1RM is not really representative of their true maximum motor unit recruitment.

This would explain why they can do so many more reps at 90% than men can. There may be another better explanation, this is just a hypothesis, but I have yet to see one. Probably because most people haven't yet even made the observation upon which to study it.

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Are sex differences in regards to where the strength is (upper body...) and the more muscular mass derive from the adolescence training boys go through and how from babies boys are geared towards physical strength exercises and development? This has happened for thousand of years now, this might have impacted male DNA or biology? Or there are conclusive reasons and evidence to believe the sex differences are natural? Do these differences happen for all males and females or it depends on the female and male?

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2:12 is two seconds faster than women’s current times. Not much. Do you want to make a bet that in the next five years women will match or beat that? My point is the biologically determined differences pound for pound in strength and long distance speed between the sexes are not so clear. Calling it “nonsense” and your other ad hominem attacks don’t change that.

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Top marathon running speed is 2:14 for women and 2:01 for men.


Women’s current top speed is the same as the top men’s speed in 1963. Did men’s biology change? Women haven’t been competing in the marathon as long as men have. There has been a progression of reduced times over the decades of this sport. How fast can women get? That’s a reasonable question as well.


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This scholar thinks women are closing the gap in strength pound for pound. I think the jury is still out as to how strong women can get and that is a reasonable position to take. Women haven’t been doing serious weight lifting for very long and top women are already lifting 3 1/2 times their body weight.

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Tell me what specifically has been debunked and I’ll find cites supporting my position. As far as men having less opportunities than women do, all the evidence points to the opposite. Less girls and women participate in sports as men, women receive less compensation and attention. Again, I can find cites if you are interested.

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This article makes no real effort to distinguish between gender roles that are socially constructed, channeling the sexes in different directions and activities, encouraging and enforcing male domination and preventing women and girls from developing themselves in myriad ways, versus the differing physical capacities biologically inherent in male and female human bodies.

Not long ago women were deemed incapable of running long distances and kept from running marathons. Yet now women’s top marathon speeds match men’s records made in the 1960’s.,And not long ago women were discouraged from even attempting to develop their upper body strength. Now lifting twice one’s body rate is common in top female athletes and there is a woman who has lifted three times her body weight.

In primitive societies women regularly carried heavy loads and I have read anthropological evidence that remains of women in the past evidenced higher upper body musculature than top female athletes today.

And it would be hard to argue that men in many primitive cultures did not engage in dancing to the same extent that women did.

Obviously there are some inherent physical differences in male and female bodies and that women tend to be smaller and lighter is one of them that would in itself lead to less strength on average, but the significance of those biological differences and the extent of them pound for pound with regard to strength, speed, agility and endurance cannot be completely clear in conditions of social inequality and lack of equal opportunity for girls and women to develop their capacities. If there are indeed athletic disadvantages in the female body there may also be advantages. I would think giving birth is an act of endurance above all others.

All this is an argument supporting female only sports teams while men’s teams should be open to women who wish to participate in them.

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