Bijur et al1 report that a significantly higher proportion of female than male cadets in the West Point Class of 1995 suffered stress fractures. Such a phenomenon had been reported about earlier West Point classes2,3 and about classes in the other US service academies.2 Friedl et al4 noted that the risk factors for stress fractures in young, US Army women were as follows: current smoking, previous history of amenorrhea, and being underweight. Anderson5 found that 73% of women in the 1980 class developed secondary amenorrhea during their first year at the academy. Welch3 noted similar percentages for the classes of 1981, 1990, and 1991. Welch3 also noted that in the 1990 class, the mean number of push-ups achieved by the women was 35, and the mean number of pull-ups was 3. I have no control data, but would suppose that the average young woman in the Western world could not do one push-up—let alone a pull-up.
James WH. The Health and Hormone Status of Female Cadets and Active-Duty Women in the US Armed Forces. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998;152(1):101. doi:
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