It probably wouldn’t come as that much of a surprise that boys who play sports in high school were more likely than their non-sporting counterparts to engage in bad habits (full disclosure: football here, fightin’, no drankin’); after all, these were the meatheads of the class, the jackasses that ended up in jackass jobs like “policeman.”* We’re not saying athletes were in worse shape or anything - that’s clearly not the case - but that they binge drank and fought more often.
Ah, but the ladies? If the soccer fight from above is any indication, they’re getting as tossed as the guys and throwing more punches too, right? Only makes sense that that adrenaline gets pumping and takes up residence in their brain, right?
Well, no, wrong; young female athletes are less likely to engage in those activities, not more. See, you learned something today.
According to BLOOMBERG.COM:
The study surveyed 13,000 U.S. high school students to evaluate links between team sports and risky behavior. About 60 percent of the boys reported they played team sports within the last year, compared with 48 percent of girls.
The boys playing team sports reported binge-drinking rates 40 percent higher and fighting 30 percent more often than nonathletes, according to the news release. The athlete boys also showed 30 percent lower rates of depression and 20 percent less smoking.
The girls showed no link to drinking in the study, the research reported. The athletic girls showed 10 percent lower rates of fighting, 30 percent less depression, 50 percent less smoking and 10 percent less unhealthy weight loss habits compared with nonathlete girls, the study found.
This, of course, all comes back to good ol’ testosterone, of which the high school boys have much too much as they blossom into adulthood or whatever you call it with boys instead of girls. Also, note to self for writing that past sentence: ew.
What surprised us the most was that unhealthy weight loss habits (see: eating disorders) were down only 10% among girls in athletics; normally, you’d think they’re athletic enough to not need to resort to self-starvation or bulimia. Certainly more than 10% less likely to “need” it, no? Either way, it goes to show that destructive eating habits are more of a mental disorder than a condition with a more external, evidential basis.
*I kid, I kid; cops are America’s greatest national treasure. Please don’t arrest me.