Who says girls can't compete athletically with boys?

May 31, 2012

An Indiana University study that looked at performance differences between male and female childhood athletes found little difference in certain age groups, even though boys and girls rarely compete against each other in the U.S.

Joel Stager, professor in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at IU Bloomington, said he is not suggesting that boys and girls compete against each other, but he said his findings indicate they could.

"It's the whole perception that girls can't compete fairly with boys," he said. "Well, at certain ages, they can."

The study analyzed data provided by USA Swimming that consisted of the best 50-yard freestyle performances for all USA Swimming-registered male and female swimmers ages 6 to 19 who competed from 2005 to 2010. This included 1.9 million swims.

The study found no difference in swim performance in children younger than 8. It also found little difference in 11- and 12-year-olds. The effects of puberty began showing in the older swimmers, as the began experiencing accelerated growth in height, weight and strength typical of age 13 and older.

Researchers chose to analyze children's performance in the 50-yard freestyle because the swimmers' performances were less influenced by training per se and more likely to be influenced by . A second study further characterizes the "distribution of " within the entire U.S. Swimming database, something that has never been done before for a competitive event.

" in Childhood " will be discussed at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 31, in the Exhibit Hall. Co-authors are lead author Andrew Cornett and Karen Kafadar, Eastern Michigan University.

Explore further: Classroom noise upsets girls the most

Related Stories

Struggling male readers respond better to female teachers

August 23, 2007

Boys with difficulty reading actually respond better to female teachers, according to a new Canadian study. Research shows that boys develop higher positive self-perceptions as readers when they worked with female research ...

High-tech swimsuits are 'bad news', expert says

July 29, 2009

Joel Stager, director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University, says it's about time elite swimmers come around to the idea that high-tech swimsuits are bad news.

Recommended for you

Is tailgating toxic?

August 26, 2016

While tailgating this football season you may want to take a step back from the grill and generator—for your health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.