Think women can't drive as well as men? Think again! Study of professional racers finds females are genetically BETTER at dealing with the extreme conditions at the wheel


Female drivers in the world of auto-sport are genetically wired up to deal with the extreme conditions better than their male peers.


A study found that their is no difference between the physical fitness of males and females but women, with suitable training and experience, could become faster.


Debate over the differences in physical performance has raged for a long time as to whether women are as capable of enduring the brutal conditions at the wheel.


It also dispelled a common and unfounded myth that women are less tolerant of the high temperatures involved in Motorsport at a certain point on their menstrual cycle.


Carmen Jorda, a member of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, was criticised after encouraging female drivers to pursue 'less physical' racing opportunities.


Researchers at Michigan State University studied six people - three male and three female - to see if there was any difference between the sexes.


Evaluation was done in two classes of racing, closed and open cockpit, and found the physical durability to be the same.


Researchers analysed heart and breathing rate, core body and skin temperature as well as heat-induced stress, which can lead to heat exhaustion.


'Heat strain is the primary stressor in racing. Women naturally have an elevated core temperature during a certain phase of their menstrual cycle.


The luteal phase is the second half of the menstrual cycle, beginning after ovulation and ending when you get your next period.


After you ovulate, the corpus luteum?a structure inside the ovaries that holds a developing egg?collapses and begins to produce progesterone.


Progesterone helps thicken theuterine so that if there is a fertilised egg, it can implant successfully.


If no egg implants, the corpus luteum stops producing progesterone after about 10 ? 16 days, and you shed your uterine lining in your period.


The luteal phase is also when women can have higher heart rates, core body temperature and an increase in other physiological factors that are considered markers for fatigue.


'The misperception was that they would potentially fatigue faster and become a safety risk to other drivers,' said David Ferguson, an assistant professor who has spent 15 years studying the physiology of race car drivers at Michigan State University.

密歇根州立大学(Michigan State University)助理教授弗格森(David Ferguson)表示,人们的错误认识是,她们可能会更容易疲劳,对其他车手构成安全风险。弗格森花了15年时间研究赛车手的生理学。

'Based on our results, I'm here to say that's just not true.'


It was previously suggested that the luteal phase - the second half of the cycle which begins after ovulation and ends at the start of the next period - made women a danger to themselves and others.


'The luteal phase is when women can have higher heart rates, core body temperature and an increase in other physiological factors that are considered markers for fatigue.


'Yet even during this time, these factors still were no different than what male drivers exhibited.'


The study, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, also found that the structure of the car, whether a closed or open cockpit, was more of a factor causing higher physiological stress in both sets of drivers than any hormonal changes.

这项发表在《体育与运动医学与科学》(Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise)杂志上的研究还发现,无论是封闭式驾驶舱还是开放式驾驶舱,汽车的结构对两组驾驶员造成的生理压力都比任何激素变化更大。