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Why is a man stronger than a woman?

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On average men are physically stronger than women because the average man is larger, more robust and has a greater proportion of muscle mass than the average women. Having longer limbs means you have a longer lever to exert force with, having larger muscle mass (controlled by testosterone) means there is more pushing force at the end of the lever. Men are generally more robust meaning their bone structure is larger than that of women, this is needed to cope with the extra forces exerted by the increased muscle. If the bones weren't thickened they would fracture more easily. Women carry a greater proportion of body fat than men and have trimmed back on muscle tissue, it has been suggested that these are adaptions to make them more fit to carry babies to term and produce milk when food is scarce. Muscle tissue uses a lot of energy even at rest, getting rid of some muscle and replacing it with fat reserves would be a wise plan if food was hard to come by and you had the extra energy demands imposed by pregnancy and nursing.

I use the phrase "on average" as clearly not all men are stronger than all women. Most men would struggle to out lift a female weightlifter for example.

Interestingly on average women have a higher pain threshold than men and on average women commit suicide less than men. Thus giving the impression that the average woman is better able to cope with physical injury and stress than the average man.
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