Another aspect of that: Males get all the risky jobs. A population can afford to lose more males than females, so if there’s anything dangerous for a species, it’s the males that do it. Human men go to war and hunt, since those activities are dangerous for humans. For lions, say, hunting isn’t particularly dangerous, so the females do it, but it’s the males that defend against hyenas.
Most high-risk activities are the sort of thing where strength/athletic ability are useful, so the ones taking the high risks tend to be better athletes.
As for chess, by the way, it’s worth pointing out that one of the best players in the world (second, by some estimates) is not male :p.
Interesting OP. I think there is probably a lot in the idea that males show more variation than females. In many of these activities, it isn’t simply a matter of better training. In most cases, a world class athlete or chess player does express a mutation (whether genetic or developmental) that allows excellence. With the best training and dedication in the world, I’m never going to become a world-class sprinter or chess player, for that matter.
Chess, while a mental activity, also requires IMO, a mutation in order to become a world class player. There is an inate ability that separates someone who plays at the lever of a master vs. someone who plays at the grandmaster level. Grandmasters are a type of idiot savant. (Well, not really as they aren’t generally developmentally disabled or brain-damaged.) They “think” about chess in a qualitatively different way. Interestingly, idiot savants are more likely to be male than female.
I’ve heard that one before. However from what I understand it’s actually kind of misleading. The problem is that generally speaking women haven’t being doing the sports as long as men have. One would expect that for the first women would have pretty bad scores, just like guys did when they started. As time passes both men and women get better but most of the improvement happens at the begining. Simply put the girls haven’t started running into a situation of diminishing returns.
Actually anybody know how women do at equestian? I’d expect them to do better since at least when I was growing up way more girls were into horses than guys. That and the fact the girls tended to be smaller.(Less weight for the horse to carry.)
I don’t know, I’ve been reading through the news at Ultramarathonworld and in the roughly dozen races I read the men all finished at about 30 minutes ahead of the women.
Toronto 100k Bob 8:11:25, Claudia 9:42:02 Surgeres 48 Hours Yiannis(m) 436.702 km, Edit (f) 367.638km ACU 100km Victor 7:12:10, 8:46:52 (in the 10 year history of that race the first male has always finished far ahead of the first female. Soemtimes by as much as 4 hours) Miwok 100K Scott 8:44:52, Jana (f) 10:44:03 and 20th overall 100Km du Périgord Noir Miguel 7:54:40, Patricia 9:43:25 and 29th overall
There’s the first 14 races on their homepage and we have 14 male winners. It’s beginning to sound like a myth to me.
And I have to agree with Amfet, what I have heard is that men have a more efficient running stride since their hips are closer in. Although I can find no research on this subject.
Chronos, that’s such a cheap spot I won’t deem it worthy to respond.
OK, I lied. I shall respond. One match does not a world champion make so you can take that comment and shove it right back up your Deep Blue, ya hear? YA HEAR? Yeah…I thought so. heh.
SenorBeef, compared to the feminist board where I’ve been spending a good deal of time this week (link NOT provided), this place is shangri-la.
Collounsbury, of course it was mutations. It’s survival of the fittest and, hey, chess players mate better.
The ultra-marathon is interesting. I didn’t even know people ran for 48 hours straight. Why God Why? But if it’s true that women have more endurance then men, how come it doesn’t show up after 26.1 miles? Why doesn’t it kick in at, say, the 15 mile mark?
What benefit could women have in being able to run 50, 100, 200 miles faster than men when 99.99% of the world can’t even run 20?
Also, understand that I’m not talking about averages here. I understand that the average along a bell curve helps to decide where the ends lie. But, really, a bell curve doesn’t even have “ends.” It’s just less and less probability that something will occur.
So averages, by themselves, don’t explain the “best of the best.” Why are the best men faster swimmers, faster runners, more powerful lifters, longer throwers, more powerful hitters and, yes, better chess players, than the best women?
I don’t think we can say it’s sociological in nature. That’s a good explanation when we’re asking why there aren’t as many female CEOs, or billionaires, or even doctors.
But athletic ability is all about how hard you train and how much your body can take. It seems that women fall short, which seems strange.
Does it lead to the conclusion that no one can excape his or her biological limitations? Is that too far a stretch?
Note that I wasn’t talking about simply genetic mutations, either. Idiot savants are thought to be primarily the result of developmental “mutations” during fetal development, though there may also be a genetic cause in some cases. A similar developmental mechanism could also be responsible for the less dramatic changes that help create world-class athletes.
They don’t. Sri Chinmoy 10-Day Rimas 121 193 256 304 378 440 509 550 635 701 (those are his per day totals. the only woman, Kate ondon, stopped on the 3rd day) Gator Trail 50Km Jeff 3:37:54, Crystal 4:43:02 Zane Grey Highline Trail 50-Miler Karl 8:07, Petra 9:54 Sakura-Michi 250Km Race Tatsuya (m) 25:36, Hiroe (f) 30:23 Promise Land 50Km Trail Race Clark 4:30:43, Krissy 5:27:36 Latvian 24-Hour Track Race Senfelds (m) 224.078km, Kavtaskina (f) 144.645 km
sorry quick hijack: debatable point. While at the first instance, individuals survive, populations must also survive. A mutation that makes one eat nothing but one’s neighbours (e.g. “night of the living dead” anyone) might keep you alive longer, and lessen the competition for resources in the short term, but would be long term an evolutionary dead end. What is in fact important is not the survival of the individual, but the survival of the gene, which is tied in to the survival of the population, not the individual (though usually, though not totally, mediated by individual survival in the short term) . Thus, the appearance of “altruistic genes”, which seem to help populations not individuals.
You are of course right that none of this is premeditated, but I think it is a mistake to look at evolution solely on an individual level. While evolution “knows nothing about future development”, genes that don’t “take future development into account” are eliminated, or at least kept to a small level by population dynamics
One possible, though doubtless unprovable, reason that in the super-ultra-rarified atmosphere of world championship sports men excel because few women are silly enough to risk ruining their health by using steroids.
This speaks to women’s overall intelligence versus men. I heard a stat once that said 9 out of 10 people struck by lightning are male. The scientists had no explanation for this but speculated that women were smart enough to get out of a storm and under shelter whereas guys are more likely to stand outside and look at the pretty lightning.
One other thing. There is a very simple explination for why there are more men then women in the ultramarathons and it has nothing to do with inferieority.
Todays women are the first generation of women “allowed” to participate in marathon and ultramarathon racing events.
In the 70s it was considered “dangerous” for a women to run long distances. The Boston marathon did not allow women to officially run untill 1972. Several years before that they actually forced a women off the race course.
(I hasten to add that Irina has played in events I’ve organised and is well respected as both a player and an ambassador for the game.)
Here in the UK, we have a reasonable proportion of male to female players up to age 11. Then it drops dramatically. I would estimate that males constitute about 90% or higher of particpants in adult chess tournaments.
So that would be one reason for male dominance of chess ratings - simply more players.
You could add that a women’s role in making babies is a much bigger disruption to a chess career than for a man. :eek:
Deep Blue hasn’t played since the Kasparov match, so it’s impossible to tell how good it really is. Note that Kasparov had difficulty preparing opening moves, since IBM wouldn’t release any information about Deep Blue’s preferences. (This analysis is very important in world-class chess.)
Some modern chess programs are being tested in matches against grandmasters on: www.kasparovchess.com
Frankly, I think women have less opportunities to participate, being they have been oppressed for
so long, so they are just catching up. Eventually, given equal chances, they should come close to
what men can do.
**Deep Blue hasn’t played since the Kasparov match, so it’s impossible to tell how good it really is. Note that Kasparov had difficulty preparing opening moves, since IBM wouldn’t release any information about Deep Blue’s preferences. (This analysis is very important in world-class chess.)
glee, does this mean that it’s conceivable that Kasparov could start beating Deep Blue consistently if K were to play DB several times, thus allowing K to analyze DB’s tendencies?
When DB first won, the press made it sound like no human could even hope to compete with DB. Figured it was hyperbole.
He thought so at the time, IIRC. Note also that computers vs. humans in Chess is heavily influenced by the time allowed for thought … computers are virtually unbeatable in “blitz” chess (5 minutes/game) but, while good, are not top contenders in correspondence chess (3 days/move).
This is related to the nature of the game … computers are superb at the exact calculation of combinations (say 10 moves out) and at the opportunistic exploitation of unusual tactics (combinations that may be missed by humans because the position on the board does not fit a pattern that tells a human ‘look really hard for something here, because in this type of position there is often something to find’), but they are much worse at long term conditional strategies (‘If he ever does this, I will always be able to counter with that, as long as I can maintain such-and-such conditions’).