MALES AND FEMALES IMPROVE AT THE SAME RATE IN DISTANCE RUNNING
Sparting, P. B., O'Donnell, E. M., & Snow, T. K. (1999). The sex difference in distance running has plateaued: An analysis of world rankings. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30(5), Supplement abstract 1562.
Annual world rankings in distance running from 1980 to 1996 were analyzed. World best and 100th times were the indices used to represent overall trends in the 1,500 m and marathon races.
Since the mid-1980s, the rates of improvement for the best and 100th ranked individuals of each gender have been similar. It is safe to say that sex differences in performance have been stable in recent years. Opportunities for women to train and compete have approached parity with those of men.
Implication. The current sex difference in performance is due primarily to biological differences between men and women that give men an advantage in distance running.
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