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Why do girls throw like girls and boys like boys?

Matt:

I've been watching a lot of kids play baseball this summer, and I've been wondering why most girls throw like girls, while very few boys do. Are girls' arm muscles different? Does it have to do with upper-body strength? Even when girls get into their teens, they still throw like girls. There must be an explanation.

-- Coach, El Cajon

Time out, Coach. We've got a little too much generalizing here. All kids under the age of six or seven tend to "throw like girls" -- rare back with the ball over their shoulders and fling it, sort of like a modified shot-put. Even a baby will use this throwing motion. It's a natural gesture for any untrained kid. But you've got to admit that a woman who practices as hard as a man can develop what might be called a "professional" throwing arm. Boys do; there's no physiological reason a girl can't. It's just that in general, most girls don't particularly want to.

Don't take my word for it. There have been plenty of studies of boys' and girls' athletic development. Several of them have attempted to explain this "you throw like a girl" thing. In one of the better-known investigations, boys and girls were asked to throw a softball with their dominant and then with their nondominant hands. Surprisingly, at almost any age, when they throw with their nondominant hands, boys achieve only slightly better scores than girls. And boys, no matter how well they throw with their dominant hands, tend to "throw like a girl" with the nondominant. Physiologists conclude that boys' better performance is based partly on greater upper-body strength, but mostly on practice. Boys are encouraged to develop their throwing skills, girls aren't.

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Matt:

I've been watching a lot of kids play baseball this summer, and I've been wondering why most girls throw like girls, while very few boys do. Are girls' arm muscles different? Does it have to do with upper-body strength? Even when girls get into their teens, they still throw like girls. There must be an explanation.

-- Coach, El Cajon

Time out, Coach. We've got a little too much generalizing here. All kids under the age of six or seven tend to "throw like girls" -- rare back with the ball over their shoulders and fling it, sort of like a modified shot-put. Even a baby will use this throwing motion. It's a natural gesture for any untrained kid. But you've got to admit that a woman who practices as hard as a man can develop what might be called a "professional" throwing arm. Boys do; there's no physiological reason a girl can't. It's just that in general, most girls don't particularly want to.

Don't take my word for it. There have been plenty of studies of boys' and girls' athletic development. Several of them have attempted to explain this "you throw like a girl" thing. In one of the better-known investigations, boys and girls were asked to throw a softball with their dominant and then with their nondominant hands. Surprisingly, at almost any age, when they throw with their nondominant hands, boys achieve only slightly better scores than girls. And boys, no matter how well they throw with their dominant hands, tend to "throw like a girl" with the nondominant. Physiologists conclude that boys' better performance is based partly on greater upper-body strength, but mostly on practice. Boys are encouraged to develop their throwing skills, girls aren't.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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