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When The Pressure Is On, Turn To Women

Men are stronger than women, biologically. Speculations have circulated that if women could surpass men in terms of biological and genetic strength, the world would be a completely different place. Men continue to be physically stronger than women, it is true. New research suggests that women might be more psychologically stronger than men, particularly when it comes to dealing with a high-pressure situation. This research has an interesting caveat. The specific scenarios analysed in the study are tennis matches.

Ben Gurion University of the Negev and the University of St. Gallen, in collaboration with NYU Shanghai investigated over 8,000 tennis matches played by men and women. Though the results are specific to tennis, more accurately, a competitive, sporting event, the implications may be universal. According to The Independent, the study writes that “…men consistently choke under competitive pressure, but with regard to women the results are mixed.”

Men, the study revealed, have a tendency to lose their competitive cool when the heat is on. Women are not exempt from this behavior. However, research has found that when women do experience difficulty in performing under high stress, it has a 50% less chance of happening than with men. Women will still falter under pressure, but not as often as men will.

Science, as always, is behind the phenomenon. According to the article, men experience a more rapid increase in cortisol than women do. Research has found rapid cortisol production to be common in men in a number of different environments. Cortisol is a stress hormone produced as part of the fight or flight response. Coursing through the body’s blood stream, cortisol is meant to help the body take action, or fight. Often, too much cortisol too quickly results in the body paralyzing or faltering. A sudden surge of cortisol can impede the ability to continue performing under pressure.

Women are capable of handling not just one high pressure environment, but multiple at the same time. Women juggle jobs, education, families, spouses, friends, obligations, voluntary requirements, and more at the same time. Many wonder “how do they do it?” This research might be the revealing answer: women do better under pressure.

 

Living as a woman in recovery shouldn’t be difficult. Our program at Villa Tranquil, a unique transitional living program for women in early sobriety, helps women navigate the development of a new way of living. Independently owned and operated by clinicians, our program guides women after primary care. Call us today for information:  (561) 294-0427