Nature vs. nurture, continued: Throwing ‘like a girl’

Of all the differences between males and females, one’s throwing ability is perhaps the most catch phrase-able:

“You throw like a GIRL.”

But it’s more than just men’s physical strength that leads to this disparity, argues sociologist Lisa Wade.

We know that the difference emerges at puberty, suggesting that sheer size might have something to do with it. But the fact that boys and men, on average, get much more practice throwing than women might also play a role. How to test this?

Well, here’s one way: compare men and women throwing with their non-dominant hand. Muscle memory doesn’t transfer from one side of the body to the other. Accordingly, since most people have a lot of practice throwing only with one hand, comparing the throws of men and women using their non-dominant hand might tell us something interesting.

And cue the video:

–Nate Minor

  • Kassie

    Wouldn’t it have been just as easy to compare how men and women playing college level softball/baseball throw? Those women don’t throw like “girls” either.

    But love the video, especially the Carla Bruni song.

  • BJ

    Oh man the ‘french’ song is perfect. I posit they are just french men and they are throwing with the dominant hand.

    As a baseball player, a catcher. I used to pitch batting practice, with my non-dominant arm. Took me about a month to get the basics down and about 5 months to get some speed and real control – enough for high school level batting practice anyway.

  • Tom Anderson

    Bob: have you ‘caught’ the car commercial where the guy is teaching his son to throw? Quite the spectacle!