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Lynda B. Ransdell and Christine L. Wells

Do women out-perform men in endurance sports? Are women as strong, pound for pound, as men? Many questions have been raised about the ability of women and men to perform physical tasks equally well. The issue of sex differences and similarities in performance has considerable significance today as women seek physically demanding careers in police-work, fire-fighting, the military, industry, and athletics. As more women participate in recreational and career opportunities formerly open only to men, knowledge about sex differences in response to physical exertion and training becomes increasingly important. In this paper we describes differences between the sexes in athletic performance.

Most performance differences are due to variations in morphological (structural) or physiological characteristics typical of women and men (Wells, 1991). Nevertheless, variations in these characteristics are often as large or larger within each sex as they are between the sexes. The same is true of physical performance. Thus, when the entire population is considered, there are extensive differences in performance within each sex, and considerable overlap in performance between the sexes.

We will base our examination of performance differences on the most outstanding performances of each sex: those exemplified by World Records in athletic events. We seek to answer such questions as: How large are sex differences in world record performances? Can existing performance differences be explained entirely by biological differences between the sexes? Or, are a large portion of these performance differ-ences attributable to sociocultural factors?

We will analyze sex differences in performance relative to the human energy system. This system allows an extraordinary range of mechanisms for neuromuscular coordination and metabolism. Because of this, the human has a virtually unlimited movement repertoire and is capable of movements requiring large bursts of energy over very brief periods of time, as well as movements requiring low levels of energy production over very long periods of time. We will progress from sports that require very high intensity and explosive quality movements such as jumping and power lifting, through the “energy spectrum” to feats of endurance such as marathon running, ultra-distance triathlon, and open-water distance swimming.

Due to our desire to focus this paper on a reasonable amount of data, our analysis will be limited as follows:

1) for sex differences in high intensity-brief duration, explosive per-formance, we will discuss the high jump, long jump, and various mea-sures of strength (powerlifting),

2) for sex differences in high intensity-short duration performance, we will present data on sprint running (100m, 400m) and swimming (100m),

3) for sex differences in moderate intensity-moderate duration performance, we will discuss middle-distance running (1500m, 5000m, 10,000m), and swimming (1500m), and

4) for differences in low intensity-long duration performance, we will discuss the marathon, the "Ironman Triathlon," and open ocean distance swimming.

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Lisa E. Bolger, Linda A. Bolger, Cian O’ Neill, Edward Coughlan, Wesley O’Brien, Seán Lacey and Con Burns

, Plotnikoff, Callister, & Lubans, 2015 ), although some studies have reported no sex-related differences within overall FMS performance ( Hardy, King, Farrell, Macniven, & Howlett, 2010 ; Kordi, Nourian, Ghayour, Kordi, & Younesian, 2012 ). Sex differences in FMS proficiency have predominantly been explained

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Erin White, Jennifer D. Slane, Kelly L. Klump, S. Alexandra Burt and Jim Pivarnik

Background:

Knowing the extent to which genetic and environmental factors influence percent body fatness (%Fat) and physical activity (PA) would be beneficial, since both are tightly correlated with future health outcomes. Thus, the purpose was to evaluate sex differences in genetic and environmental influences on %Fat and physical activity behavior in male and female adolescent twins.

Methods:

Subjects were adolescent (age range 8.3 to 16.6 yr) twins. %Fat (n = 518 twins) was assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and PA (n = 296 twins) was measured using 3-Day PA Recall. Each activity was converted to total MET-minutes. Univariate twin models were used to examine sex differences in genetic and environmental factors influencing %Fat and PA.

Results:

%Fat was influenced by genetic effects in both boys and girls (88% and 90%, respectively), with slightly higher heritability estimates for girls. PA was influenced solely by environmental effects for both sexes with higher shared environmental influences in boys (66%) and higher nonshared effects in girls (67%).

Conclusions:

When developing interventions to increase PA in adolescents, it is important to consider the environment in which it takes place as it is the primary contributor to PA levels.

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Dane R. Van Domelen, Paolo Caserotti, Robert J. Brychta, Tamara B. Harris, Kushang V. Patel, Kong Y. Chen, Nanna Ýr Arnardóttir, Gudny Eirikdottir, Lenore J. Launer, Vilmundur Gudnason, Thórarinn Sveinsson, Erlingur Jóhannsson and Annemarie Koster

Background:

Accelerometers have emerged as a useful tool for measuring free-living physical activity in epidemiological studies. Validity of activity estimates depends on the assumption that measurements are equivalent for males and females while performing activities of the same intensity. The primary purpose of this study was to compare accelerometer count values in males and females undergoing a standardized 6-minute walk test.

Methods:

The study population was older adults (78.6 ± 4.1 years) from the AGES-Reykjavik Study (N = 319). Participants performed a 6-minute walk test at a self-selected fast pace while wearing an ActiGraph GT3X at the hip. Vertical axis counts·s−1 was the primary outcome. Covariates included walking speed, height, weight, BMI, waist circumference, femur length, and step length.

Results:

On average, males walked 7.2% faster than females (1.31 vs. 1.22 m·s−1, P < .001) and had 32.3% greater vertical axis counts·s−1 (54.6 vs. 39.4 counts·s−1, P < .001). Accounting for walking speed reduced the sex difference to 19.2% and accounting for step length further reduced the difference to 13.4% (P < .001).

Conclusion:

Vertical axis counts·s−1 were disproportionally greater in males even after adjustment for walking speed. This difference could confound free-living activity estimates.

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John H. Lewko and Martha E. Ewing

Children (N = 370), ages 9 to 11 years, responded to a fixed-alternative questionnaire which examined the influences of mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers on the sport involvement of males and females. The following predictions were tested: (a) at similar levels of involvement (high or low), males would be discriminated from females by significant others; (b) value toward sport would discriminate between high- and low-involved males and females; (c) for high levels of involvement, fathers would be the most discriminating variable for both males and females. Within-sex discriminant analyses revealed fathers as predominant socializing agents for high-involved males, while all agents discriminated between high/low females. Between-sex discriminant analyses revealed significant differences only for high-involved males and females. Results were discussed in terms of early parental socialization practices and the support/encouragement necessary to increase sport involvement, particularly for females.

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John T. Cacioppo and Charlotte A. Lowell

Eight situations dealing with team sports were described to 63 male and 63 female undergraduates. Each situation depicted a team competition involving same-sex members, and subjects were told specifically about the affiliation, acquaintance, and skill of one of the participants. Subjects indicated how enjoyable they viewed each of the eight sports situations, how many years they had participated in team sports, and how much experience they had in team sport competition. The results suggested that men and women similarly enjoyed aspects of team sport participation that improved their chances of winning and interacting cooperatively with friends, but men seemed to enjoy the ego-challenging aspects of team sports more than women.

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Simone A. Kaptein and Elizabeth M. Badley

Objective:

To examine physical activity (PA) prevalence in individuals with arthritis in comparison with those with other chronic diseases.

Methods:

Descriptive analyses were based on cross-sectional self-reported data for adults over age 18 from the Canadian Community Health Survey administered in 2005 (N = 132,221) for the following groups: arthritis, back problems, other physical chronic conditions (ie, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and cancer), and no physical chronic conditions.

Results:

The arthritis group did less leisure-time physical activity than the other 3 groups, they were particularly less likely to engage in vigorous physical activities, but were just as likely to walk when commuting for errands, work, or school. Older women in the arthritis group appeared to be the least active across physical activities and groups.

Conclusions:

Adults with chronic disease were more physically inactive during leisure than those without chronic physical conditions, and older women in the arthritis group were particularly limited in our study. A more comprehensive assessment of all types of physical activity, including work, leisure, and commuting behaviors, need to be done in populations with chronic disease, to provide a more accurate portrayal of physical activity participation.

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Pantelis T. Nikolaidis, Stefania Di Gangi and Beat Knechtle

performance between women and men. To elucidate these assumptions, we investigated the relationship between half-marathon race times and age in 1-year intervals, using the world single age records in half-marathon running and the sex difference in performance from 5 to 91 years in men and 5 to 93 years in

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Kara K. Palmer, Danielle Harkavy, Sarah M. Rock and Leah E. Robinson

difference is observed in Australia ( Hardy, King, Farrell, Macniven, & Howlett, 2010 ), Belgium ( Bardid et al., 2016 ), South Africa ( Tomaz et al., 2019 ), and the United States of America (USA; Kit, Akinbami, Isfahani, & Ulrich, 2017 ). Sex differences in object control skills are troubling because a

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Rose M. Angell, Stephen A. Butterfield, Shihfen Tu, E. Michael Loovis, Craig A. Mason and Christopher J. Nightingale

predominated scholarly discourse in motor development. Several investigators argue that sex differences in certain OCSs are rooted in biology (i.e., evolution; see Thomas, Alderson, Thomas, Campbell, & Elliott, 2010 ; Young, 2009 ), while others maintain that gender differences are a product of sociocultural