Sep
11
2012

Do girls really throw like a girl?

Throw like a girl: Researchers see significant differences in the data about how far and how fast boys can throw things compared to girls. Is this something we should be talking about?
Throw like a girl: Researchers see significant differences in the data about how far and how fast boys can throw things compared to girls. Is this something we should be talking about?Courtesy dbwilldo
Right off the bat, let me say that this study was conducted by a female. And she asks a very interesting, and maybe stereotypical, question. Please read this full post before you jump to any conclusions. Or jump on me for posting this.

Do girls really "throw like girls?"

It's standard trash talk one male can hurl at another male who doesn't exhibit the form and proficiency of throwing that's usually expected. But professor Janet Hyde at the University of Wisconsin has data to back up the fact that men throw significantly farther and harder than women.

She actually has studied a variety of gender differences in her research. And the differences in throwing are one of the only categories where those gender differences are off the charts. You can read a full story about it right here.

To summarize, girls under teenage throw 51 to 69 percent the distance of their male peers. The differences grow as people get older. Teenage girls, on average, throw only 39 percent as far as teenage boys – throwing a ball for distance about 75 feet compared to 192 feet by males.

There is acknowledgement of the fact that boys in general get more practice in throwing based on the activities that they typically do compared to girls. But are there other factors.

Click the link to see some interesting theories about how evolution may have a role in this, leading to physiological differences between the muscles and movement patterns of males and females. Interestingly, the gap exists, but is narrower, between males and females in less advanced cultures.

Should we even be talking about this? Some think pointing out these differences might make girls give up hope on trying to improve their throwing. Others think data like this helps identify the difference and give girls, teachers and coaches information on how to improve. What do you think?

Of course, all these numbers still can't explain why Pee Wee Herman continues to throw like a girl.

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Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

b's picture
b says:

One must look at other factors besides sex. How about things like studying those of similar size and body types, age, health, previous training, etc.? There is aparent sexual dymorphism in our species; how recent, and why, and across different cultures are questions to look at.

posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 2:48pm
Ruth Uchiyama's picture
Ruth Uchiyama says:

This is not true across all cultures which might imply that there is more to this story than gender evolution. For example, some studies show that because girls in our culture are taught to take up less bodily space than boys they're disadvantaged in activities like throwing long distance which involves a lot of body stretching and thus taking up space. Before making any conclusions it's more effective to look at data from many angles, even beyond nature and nurture.

posted on Mon, 02/24/2014 - 1:28pm

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