Female Strength and Neuromuscular Response Time: A Review

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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  • 1 Department of Kinesiology Louise Freer Hall University of Illinois Urbana, Illinois
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There are an abundant number of published studies in which the authors state that post-pubertal men are stronger, faster and more powerful and therefore more proficient than women in many motor skills. The topics of strength and neuromuscular response time are phenomena that have been used in the past as bases for the rationalization that women do not have the physical characteristics that are essential requirements for front-line work as soldiers, firepersons, police officers and construction workers, and also that they are not as proficient as men in other occupations. This paper is a review of physiological and performance data that have contributed to our knowledge base in the areas of strength and neuromuscular response times of women. In addition, data regarding the deterioration of these parameters that occur with aging and the potential determent of this deterioration as a consequence of a lifetime of activity will be considered. Finally, a suggestion will be made that female and male data should be analyzed and reported in ways that eliminate genetic characteristics which bias the data.

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