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June 3, 1974

Female Athletics

Author Affiliations

From the Committee on the Medical Aspects of Sports, American Medical Association, Chicago.

JAMA. 1974;228(10):1266-1267. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230350038025

THE Committee on the Medical Aspects of Sports reiterates1 the beneficial aspects of sports and exercise participation for girls and women. Female participation in such programs previously was discouraged due to societal and cultural stereotypes that considered such participation a departure from the "traditional role." Much to the contrary, physiological and social benefits are to be gained by girls and women through physical activity and sports competition. In many cases, vigorous physical activity improves the distinctive biological functions of the female.

Usually, dysmenorrhea is unaffected by sports participation or subsides as a result of such participation.2,3,4,5,6 Exercise can also improve regulation of the menstrual cycle. Following active sports involvement of international caliber, female athletes have experienced a greater number of complication-free pregnancies and greater ease of delivery than recorded for a normal but less physically active control group.3(pp66-68),7,8 These specific benefits often accrue to female athletes quite