Very often, when it comes to men’s invasion of women’s territory in sports, questions and suggestions are heard: “Why do we need a women’s category at all? Sexual segregation in sports is a relic of patriarchy, it’s time for women to compete on equal terms with men, otherwise they completely relaxed in their “female pen”, because many women are not weaker than men – they can and should win in the “present”, that is, “male “Competition!”
Are women weaker than men? The answer to this question is more complicated than it seems at first glance.
On the one hand, of course, yes, weaker. Homo Sapiens is a sexually dimorphic species in which the male is larger and stronger than the female. This is a biological fact.
On the other hand, no, not necessarily, a single woman can be both larger and stronger than a single man. And if this is also a trained woman, but a man is not, then the gap in physical strength can be very serious and in favor of the woman. But in order to understand whether a female category is needed in sports in general, it is necessary to analyze statistical data, and specifically sports statistics. We have some data due to the fact that women have been involved in sports for about a hundred years.
I must say right away that examples like “but one woman somewhere once defeated a man” are irrelevant, because, firstly, these are isolated cases, and secondly, there is no complete data on what level was “that man”, what level was “that woman”, in what physical form, was there a doping control at the competition, was there a match, what kind of refereeing was there, etc. You need to compare statistics of data from those sports where there are objective results, that is, numbers (time, weight, length, distance, etc.), strict refereeing with doping control and ratification of records, and where both men and women are represented in large quantities. And there are such sports, and there is a huge array of statistics of women’s and men’s results that can be compared.
Let’s take the marathon as a basis. This is the most popular sport on Earth – millions of people all over the world, from all countries and continents, take part in marathons, this is a massive competition – 50,000 people each – with the elite and amateurs, of all ages and, what is important for us, flooring wallpaper! Exactly half of the marathon participants are women (even slightly more than half – 51-52% in recent years).
Last year in Chicago, Bridget Cosgey set the women’s world record in the marathon – 2:14:04. Is it fast or not? Is she weaker than men?
Let’s compare her results with those of Russian runners. Only one man in Russia in 2019 ran a marathon faster than Bridget Cosgey, this is Stepan Kiselev – 2:12:56.
That is, in a huge 140 million country, all other men, professional runners, members of the Russian national team, run a marathon slower than this woman. And in many countries, there is not even one man who can run faster than Cosgei.
But what can I say, in marathon running, Cosgey is the strongest male population of the Earth (3,949,164,559 people), with the exception of several hundred men.
Well, then, no women’s category is needed and Cosgei can compete and win against men?
Yes, maybe, but it won’t be a fair competition.
If we look at the results of all the male marathon runners in the world, then in 2019 Bridget Cosgey would have ranked 586 with her phenomenal record.
This is a screenshot of the top lists of marathon runners of 2019 from the website of World Athletics, the international athletics federation.
That is, 585 men in the world ran faster in 2019 than the most the fastest result in the history of women’s marathon running
And the elite usually pay for the first 10-20 places in marathons. Thus, if we combine the women’s category with the men’s category, then all women, no matter how professional they are and stronger than most men, go to the category of amateurs and earn prize money only on small starts.
The men’s world record was set in 2018 and it is 13 minutes faster than the female – 2:01:39. The difference is 10%.
Let me give you an even more colorful example. A few days ago, in Brussels, on the same day, at the same stadium, under the same weather conditions and at the same time of day, women and men world records in the hour run were set. Moreover, both the runner and the runner ran in the same spikes – the same brand and with the same technology.
These are conditions that meet the most stringent scientific requirements, a real scientific experiment.
And what was it like result? Runner Sifan Hassan ran – 18 km 930 meters,