According to studies, researchers say girls take seem to take longer to recover from sports related concussions than boys. Researchers say that this has become a crisis due to the serious nature of concussions. Concussions are the result of a sudden blow to the head. A concussion occurs when a person suffers a blow to the head that causes the brain to move violently inside the skull. When the brain twists and/or shakes violently inside the skull it can cause physical and cognitive damage. Some of the signs of concussions are dizziness, vomiting, depression, inability to focus, headaches, and more. Even worse, some of these young women are experiencing suicidal thoughts. These side effects can also effect them for the rest of their lives. Although, statistics show that the number of concussions being experienced by young athletes and by young girls in sports is steadily rising, some say the number is under reported. Some young people don’t tell anyone about their injury because they’re unaware of what has happened to them or they are afraid of losing playing time.
Female High School Athletes Suffering Concussions
The young women in the studies had suffered concussions during automobile accidents, intra-mural, and high school athletic events. Female high school athletic programs have grown steadily over the past several decades. The reason for the growth in the number females participating in sports can be traced to several factors but one of the more applicable reasons is the number of college scholarships available to female athletes.
Every school year, colleges, and universities offer scholarships to qualifying female athletes. Some scholarships pay some or all of a students, tuition, labs, books, and room and board. This is good motivation for female athletes to work and play hard to be the best at their sport and get a scholarship if possible. Unfortunately, practicing and playing more puts female high school athletes at greater risk of concussions.
Physical and Psychological Differences in Females and Males
The obvious physical differences in men and women may shed some light on why it may take longer for girls to recover from concussions than boys. Its an understatement to say that men and women are wired differently. The female brain is encoded in such a way as to be able to deal with the differences in male/female form and function. For example, being child bearers, women are mentally and physically equipped to deal with the miracle of childbirth. Its also equally true that in many cases, women are just as capable if not more so at running a corporate boardroom. This is evidence of an additional complexity to what is an already highly organ. The physical differences in the brains of males and females may also be a reason why young girls take longer to recover from concussions than young boys.
Female Brain Not Keeping Up
As the number of young girls competing in contact sports grows, so do the odds of them suffering concussions. As more young female athletes become more and more aggressive in sports, the probability of concussions escalates. Young girls are following the examples set by high profile athletes like American Womens Soccer star Hope Solo. Hope Solo played on the American womens Olympic Gold Medal winning team. Her aggressive nature has put her at odds with opponents and teammates alike. Now that females play with more attitude, has the female brains physical ability to cope with the results (concussions) of this more aggressive nature kept up with the attitude?
Sugar and Spice Versus Snails and Tails
When we teach our children that Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice but boys are made of snails and shells and puppy dog tail, are we programming one girls to take longer to recover from sports related concussions than boys? This would be what some refer to as autosuggestion. Its been proven to work in some cases but its not an exact science. The good news is that young girls may be slower to recover to from concussions than boys but fortunately they recover.
Why Does it Take Longer for Girls to Recover?
Researchers want to do more studies before they offer definitive answers as to why girls seem to take longer to recover from concussions than boys. Do males seem to recover faster due to some genetic advantage that helps them recover quicker? Are boys better equipped to respond quicker because overall males are better equipped to withstand physical stresses of this nature? There are a lot of questions about concussions in females and males that provide conclusive evidence before its understood why younger young females take longer to recover from concussions than males.