pwa wrote:Cugel wrote:pwa wrote:I believe top level male tennis players hit the ball harder and faster than their female counterparts. I believe that top level male 100 metre sprinters cover that distance quicker than their female counterparts. Or is it just my Victorian prejudice making me imagine these things? Do you really think, Cugel, that women racing against men would suddenly up their game and become as fast as the men? Or is it that you know the men would still be faster, but it wouldn't matter because the "best person" would win. The "best person" being a man, every time? Can you really mean that?
I mean that it would be best to find out the "truth" of the matter by allowing the contests to occur rather than by employing the self-fulfilling prophecy and "reason" - that women are weaker - for never actually testing the question via reality.
When a sporting event sees a new record, there is often a spurt of attempts, many successful, to match and exceed that record. This occurs not just via physical improvements but via psychological improvements. There is a large body of evidence that suggests it is largely psychology that determines the results of elite sporting events, with physicality a necessary but not sufficient condition for winning. There is a possibility that some women will beat some men via psychological prowess rather than physical prowess - although the latter is a possibility too.
Why prevent mixed gender contests? Do you imagine the women competing will be somehow cowed or reduced if they don't always come first? Winning is but one factor driving those competing in sporting events. If winning were the only factor, the number of competitors would reduce to very few indeed. I competed in many many road races (and other sporting events) yet never got a first. I enjoyed myself immensely, as well as obtaining several other associated benefits from participating in the events.
Cugel, always amazed at the power and tenacity of deeply-embedded cultural assumptions.
Is it your belief that in spite of the current difference in times for men's and women's 100m sprints, the top women would improve to be on a par with the top men if they raced together? I can't prove that wrong, and I would love it if it were true and we did it, but it is an extraordinary assertion that I currently find incredible.
And I don't think the top women would be content with always finishing races behind a bunch of men. Amateurs just out for a nice run would be happy with that, but not top athletes.
I don't know if a woman would eventually equal or exceed the time of a man for a 100M sprint. Why have "a belief" about such a thing when it could be better discovered by having mixed gender 100M sprints as the norm, in reality.
Would it matter if, to begin with, blokes came first in 99 out of 100 such events? Perhaps the womenfolk would, in having those winning men as their benchmark, eventually reach or even surpass that standard? The only way to know is to actually make the comparison by racing mixed genders in reality.
Forming theories about what is or isn't possible just gives you a theory. Consider the next step of the scientific method. It involves the concept "empiricism". Perform the experiment of mixed gender races, for 10 years, to see what eventuates.
As to women being dissatisfied with not winning against men - well. that's the current situation all the time, isn't it, since you won't allow them
to race against men. Perhaps the dissatisfaction of not beating all the blokes in a mixed gender race would be the very spur to increase womens' performance until they could?