Looking at the picture on the left, it is pretty obvious that the man, who has up to 50% greater upper body strength than the woman, is going to win the tug of war.
Men also have denser, stronger bones, tendons, and ligaments. But women produce more antibodies and at a quicker rate than men, and have more white blood cells. Men have greater cardiovascular reserve, with larger hearts, greater lung volume per body mass, a higher red blood cell count, and higher haemoglobin.
For these reasons, they develop fewer infectious diseases and succumb for shorter periods. They also have higher circulating clotting factors, which leads to faster healing of wounds. But women have a lower blood pressure than men, and, at least prior to the menopause, are less likely to suffer from potentially deadly cardiovascular diseases. Men are less likely to suffer with depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. But women are less likely to suffer with alcoholism, antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy, and developmental psychiatric disorders such as autism spectrum disorders and Tourette syndrome. It has been suggested that the variance (or spread) in IQ scores is greater in men.
If this is true, there should be more men than women with an exceptionally high IQ. But at the other end of the spectrum there should also be fewer women than men with learning difficulties. Men are capable of fathering children into old age, whereas the fertility of women ends with the menopause.
The oldest known father was former Australian miner Les Colley, who fathered a child at age 93.
Men are also able to father a significantly greater number of children than women can give birth to. By virtue of carrying two X chromosomes, they are also much less likely to suffer from X-linked recessive disorders such as colour blindness, haemophilia, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Men are taller than women, by an average of about 15cm or 6 inches.
The most prolific father of all time is believed to be the last Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, Mulai Ismail (1646-1727), who reportedly fathered more than 800 children from a harem of 500 women. The average adult man in America is 175.8cm tall, versus 162cm for the average adult woman. But women live longer than men, most likely because they engage in fewer risky activities.
This gap in life expectancy has been closing in developed countries, where men have abandoned hard physical labour and women have begun to engage in risky activities such as smoking and binge drinking.
So, at least in biological terms, it would seem that there is no clear winner between men and women. Neel Burton is author of There Is something I found really funny about this subject.
The men vs women debate raises because people feel a sense of solidarity toward their own gender.