13 Male vs Female Sports Statistics, Facts, and Demographics  

There are plenty of biological differences between men and women, and these differences become quite apparent on the field. Let's compare men and women in Sport.

Key Statistics about Male vs Female Sports 

  1. While more men play sports than women, the gap is closing as more and more women are becoming players [1]
  2. FIFA awarded $440 million in prize money for the 2022 Men’s World Cup, and $30 million 2019 Women’s World Cup, causing an outcry of gender gap issues [2]
  3. The men’s 2022 World Cup generated $7.5 billion in commercial partnerships and sales, whereas the 2019 Women’s World Cup only generated $90 million in television advertising revenue [3]
  4. 16.4% Of professional athletes are women and 83.6% of professional athletes are men [4]
  5. Darrel Griffith of the National Basketball Association (NBA) can jump 48 inches, whereas the highest jump from the Women’s NBA (WNBA) is by the female player Deanna Nolan, who can jump 34 inches [5]
  6. Throughout history females were not always allowed to be athletes. The first male international soccer game was in 1872, but the first female one was only in 1920 [6]
  7. The NCAA reports that by the end of 2021 there were 275,175 male athletes in college and 218,122 female athletes in college [7]
  8. The strongest female deadlift belongs to Rhianon Lovelace at 600.8 pounds whereas the strongest male deadlift goes to Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (the Mountain from Game of Thrones) at 1,104.5 pounds
13 Male vs Female Sports Statistics

Chapter 1: Male vs Female Athletic Performance  

There are, of course, vital differences between men and women, predominantly hormonal. This is why most competitions are split based on sex and male athletes are not allowed to compete with female athletes – gender equality.

1. Men are stronger and faster than Women

The strongest deadlift ever recorded by a man was by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, and the strongest deadlift by a woman was by Rhianon Lovelace. The difference between the two lifts is more than 500 pounds, but both are incredibly amazing and competitive athletes.

The fastest 100m dash recorded by a male was by Usain Bolt at 9.58 seconds. The fastest female 100m dash was recorded at 10.49 seconds set by Florence Griffith-Joyner.

2. Men suffer more injuries compared to their Female peers

Injuries are a part of all sports, and most athletes would ideally like to avoid them, but they make due. Men tend to suffer more injuries than females, especially around the thighs. That said, men seem to have a higher rate of successfully returning to their sport after undergoing surgery [1].

3. Research shows that up until age 14, there are no strength differences between girls and boys

While there is no denying that there is a definite strength difference between adult men and women, data suggest that until the average boy and girl have fully matured there are no real strength differences [2].

4. In sports that require only brain ability, men still tend to dominate

When looking at the top 10 chess players in the world, they are all males. This does not mean that women are not smart by any means, it could mean that the chess industry is quite hard for females to make progress in.

Chapter 2: Male vs Female Sports Pay

The idea of the gender pay gap is hotly debated in every industry worldwide, and sports are no different. Many female athletes complain that there is insufficient prize money or that female players do not get the same contract opportunities as males.

1. Men make more money than women athletes

Female players’ biggest complaint is that they do not get paid the same. Logic will dictate that the more money you bring into the industry, the more you are able to get paid.

The 2019 World Soccer Cup awarded $30m in total prize money. The men’s World Cup of 2022 awarded $440 million – unfair, right?

Well, the 2019 World Cup brought in $73m in revenue whereas the 2022 World Cup brought in $7.5b. Thus, the women received 41% of total earnings, whereas the men only received 5.9%. Women received more than 6 times the amount that men did.

Breaking gender stereotypes everywhere.

2. Men’s Sports make more money

As seen above, female players make more than male players, but male athletes bring in more money than female ones.

The NBA made around $10b in 2022, whereas the WNBA made $60m – $70m in the same year. The same trend can be seen in many sports, so, while many cry for gender equity and equality, investors will look at the numbers and place their money where the fans are willing to invest their money.

3. Not all Sports are Male dominated

When you think of most sports, men will tend to do better due to more muscle mass, stronger bones, the ability to endure harder and longer training, and the fact that most girls and women carry more fat tissue than males.

That said, certain sports such as long-distance swimming, gymnastics, figure skating, and other professional sports where being small is advantageous are the ones where females outperform men.

Not only this, but these are also the chance for women athletes to make use of social media and sponsorship deals to make more money than their male peers.

4. There is a real difference between the highest-paid male and female athletes

The highest-paid female athlete on the planet is tennis player Naomi Osaka, bringing in $51.1 million in 2022. Lionel Messi is the highest-paid male, bringing in $130 million in 2022. Osaka has 2.7 million followers on Instagram, and Messi has 426 million.

As you can see, both are masters at their craft. However, if you’re an investor or sponsor, more people would see your product or service if you gave the opportunity to Messi compared to Osaka.

Chapter 3: Male vs Female Sports Viewership

Which of these two options has more fans? Not only could that give us an indication as to which sport would be more popular, but it would also show us which society will invest more money into.

1. The male World Cup Final had more than 1 billion more viewers than the female World Cup

The recent world cup for soccer held in Qatar had more than 1.5 billion viewers for the final match. In comparison, the final female world cup match of 2019 only had 263.62 million viewers.

This event is the biggest sporting event on the planet, and companies are willing to pay top dollar to get their names on the screen.

2. Male Tennis matches have more viewers than Female Tennis matches

Tennis is a sport that has both amazing male and female athletes, yet the number of viewers for the male vs female Wimbledon finals is quite different.

ESPN reports the 2022 men’s final has 2.24 million viewers whereas the women’s final had 1.24 million viewers. Media outlets have been accused of “doing more” for male coverage, yet, it would seem like the male matches bring in more viewers on most sports.

Chapter 4: Male vs Female Sports Steroid Use

It is no surprise that in their efforts to be the best on the planet that athletes are willing to do almost anything. That said, is there a difference between the number of young women and men who are willing to break the law and rules of the game for a competitive edge?

1. The long-term Steroid use Risks are more for Women

Steroids will not only affect the cardiovascular system of everyone who uses them but will logically also impact the endocrine system as well.

Because females have an endocrine system that is far more sensitive to androgens than males, they are far more likely to suffer the ill effects of Steroid use.

Another thing to consider is because there are so many more males using Steroids, the medical experts know what to expect and how to treat them. Female usage is still somewhat done in the shadows, and more real-life research is needed.

2. High School Boys use more Steroids than High School Girls

Yes, even in high school there are athletes using steroids, and a (rather old) survey found that even though both boys and girls use them, boys 3 times more likely to use them.

3. More Male Athletes are caught for Steroid use than Females

As previous statistics have shown, more men use steroids than women. Thus, at the 2020 Olympics held in Tokyo, 2 females namely Tandara Caixeta and Blessing Okagbare tested positive, whereas a total of 5 males tested positive, including Chijindu Ujah, Mohamed Talaat, and Jakub Krzewina who competed as part of teams.

FAQs

Why are men’s sports more valued than women’s?

It is not that male sports are more valued, but male sports tend to bring more viewership. And, after all, sports is something we do because we can, not because we must. Thus, companies are willing to invest more in sponsorships for male teams.

Which sports are female-dominated?

Figure skating, gymnastics, long-distance swimming, and netball.

Do females have an advantage in sports?

It would depend on the sport. In certain sports, yes. Long-distance swimming benefits from females having narrower shoulders and more body fat for more buoyance.

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Edouard P, Feddermann-demont N, Alonso J, et alINJURY RISK IS DIFFERENT BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE ATHLETES DURING 14 INTERNATIONAL ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPSBritish Journal of Sports Medicine 2017;51:315.

Ramos E, Frontera WR, Llopart A, Feliciano D. Muscle strength and hormonal levels in adolescents: gender related differences. Int J Sports Med. 1998 Nov;19(8):526-31. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-971955. PMID: 9877143.

Windsor R, Dumitru D. Prevalence of anabolic steroid use by male and female adolescents. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1989 Oct;21(5):494-7. PMID: 2607943.

Contributors

Daniel Louwrens BSc PT

Daniel Louwrens BSc PT | Writer

Daniel Louwrens is a well-rounded fitness professional with over 10 years of experience in bodybuilding and fitness. He holds a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Western Cape and is a certified International Personal Trainer and Nutritionist. He is also a skilled bodybuilder and head coach for Muscle and Brawn. With his knowledge and expertise, he provides personalized training, nutrition, and recovery guidance to help clients reach their fitness goals.

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Brian Carroll
Brian Carroll
9 months ago

Men and women are different and unfortunately we now are living in a society where pointing out these obvious facts is becoming somehow offensive to the easily and often offended leftists. It’s amazing how they say they want to use science and biological fact for resources until the inconvenient truth exposes their lies. Thank you for your article and never apologize for sharing the truth.

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