Difference between Men's and Women's Track Records

The difference between the men's and women's world record times is about 10% at every distance.
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Notes:
Source: IAAF
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level ∞
Nov 15, 2019
I feel like there is a misperception that the difference is smaller at larger distances. This is inaccurate. The difference is remarkably similar at all distances.
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level ∞
Nov 15, 2019
However, as long distance running is much more trainable, there are many more amateur women that can beat men at longer distances then there are at shorter distances.
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level ∞
Nov 15, 2019
There is near unanimous agreement that Flo-Jo's women's world record of 10.49 seconds in the 100m dash was wind-aided. The real world record should probably be 10.61 seconds. If we use that value instead, we see a male/female difference of 9.7% which is more in line with the rest of the chart.
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level ∞
Nov 15, 2019
It's also a little interesting that the women's world records in the 100, 200, 400, and 800 were all set during the 1980s. It's very likely that steroids were involved:

https://www.outsideonline.com/2106836/most-famous-possibly-tainted-records-olympic-history

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level 63
Nov 16, 2019
It would be interesting to see a chart showing how this difference evolved over time for a single distance, like 800 m for example.
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level 77
Nov 16, 2019
It seems to me like the average man is much more than 10% stronger and faster than the average woman. Is that a misconception? Or is it that this is true, but there is less difference between physically exceptional men and physically exceptional women? Or is it perhaps that, through training, both women and men get stronger and faster but the gap between them narrows?

Also, are any of these women's track records held by men pretending to be (identifying as) women?
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level 54
Nov 16, 2019
The first part of this comment is interesting. As for the second part, the answer is no. Biologically male athletes identifying as women would almost certainly fail the testosterone tests commissioned by the Olympic Committee or IAAF.
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level ∞
Nov 16, 2019
The 800m record holder was doping to such a degree that her appearance was entirely masculine: https://www.google.com/search?q=Jarmila+Kratochvilova

As far as I know, no man has ever won a medal by pretending to be a woman. However, intersex people with Y chromosomes have competed and won as women.

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level 77
Nov 17, 2019
Even if they were on hormones and had undergone sexual reassignment surgery? At that point I think their hormonal profile could be changed significantly enough to be basically female-equivalent, though if they had spent a substantial portion of their life as male they would already have a significant advantage in muscle mass and bone density etc, particularly if they had gone through puberty. At least this is my understanding. I'm not a doctor.
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level ∞
Nov 16, 2019
I just looked at powerlifting records in the 165 lb weight class. The men's record for combined bench, dead lift, and squat is about 15% higher than the women's record. Since so few women compete in powerlifting, it's possible that the 10% rule would apply for strength as well.
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level ∞
Nov 16, 2019
That said, the average man is quite a bit larger than the average woman,