Sex differences in athletic performance emerge coinciding with the onset of male puberty

Abstract

Background

Male performance in athletic events begins to exceed that of age-matched females during early adolescence but the timing of this divergence relative to the onset of male puberty and the rise of circulating testosterone remains poorly defined.

Design

This study is a secondary quantitative analysis of four published sources which aimed to define the timing of the gender divergence in athletic performance and relating it to the rise in circulating testosterone due to male puberty.

Data: Four data sources reflecting elite swimming and running and jumping track and field events as well as hand grip strength in non-athletes were analysed to define the age-specific gender differences through adolescence and their relationship to the rising circulating testosterone during male puberty.

Results

The onset and tempo of gender divergence was very similar for swimming, running and jumping events as well as the hand grip strength in non-athletes and all closely paralleled the rise in circulating testosterone in adolescent boys.

Conclusions

The gender divergence in athletic performance begins at the age of 12-13 years and reaches adult plateau in the late teenage years with the timing and tempo closely parallel to the rise of circulating testosterone in boys during puberty.

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Autor / Fonte:David J Handelsman Clinical Endocrinology 2017 April 11
Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cen.13350/full