Don’t be surprised when we find it was dangerous to open the door for boys in girls’ sports.

Any parent with children of both sexes who play soccer has seen the undeniable difference in the way boys and girls play the game.  It seems the cultural and hormonal differences may be interwoven with an underlying acknowledgment of actual risks.

According to the results of a recent study:

The study confirmed findings from previous research that, overall, risk of sports related concussion among female footballers was almost double—1.88 times higher—that of males. Importantly, the researchers also identified several sex-associated differences in sports concussion mechanism and management providing new insights into the injury in this age group.

Male footballers were most often injured colliding with another player and were 1.5 times more likely to be removed from play on the day of injury, compared with females, who were most often injured from contact with equipment, such as the ball or a goalpost. Adolescent female footballers also took on average two days longer to recover from injury and return to play.

That article seems to try to nudge the reader toward the conclusion that coaches leave girls in the game longer after they’ve been injured, but that could only be an indication that boys’ injuries are more dramatic and violent… because they bounce back more easily from minor injuries.

In other words,  the “if in doubt, sit them out” principle might apply to girls such that there isn’t doubt that they are hurt, because the incident didn’t seem like it should hurt them, while it applies to boys such that the incident seems like it should have hurt them when it really didn’t.


Featured image by Alex.

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