Gender differences: Do females recover more slowly from concussions than males?


A recent study of middle- and high school athletes found that the female athletes took twice as long to be symptom-free as the male athletes. Shockingly, the female athletes took nearly a full month to report being symptom-free, while the male athletes took less than two weeks. It was reported widely across the media as evidence the young women may have a special problem with concussions. This conclusion, unfortunately, is not well supported.

There are hundreds of thousands of female athletes who have scholarships, professional careers, and Olympic hopes at stake, and let’s not forget the basic principle that our girls deserve equal opportunity as the boys to participate in sports.

There may very well be gender differences in concussion, but when looking at subjective measures we need to be careful to look at the whole picture and consider context. If we put the focus on female athletes by declaring that they “take longer to recover,” we are assuming that male athletes are taking the right amount of time. But given what we are still learning about long-term contact sport participation and repeated concussions, maybe it isn’t that female athletes are taking longer—it’s that male athletes aren’t taking long enough. If we prematurely accept the premise that boys recover faster, we risk abandoning them to the perils of their own false ideas of heroism.

Read full, original post: On Gender and Concussion Recovery: Let’s not Jump to Conclusions 

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