Men and women deserve the same level of respect in every area of life, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their differences. While physical build is an obvious example, other areas are not so clear-cut. In this article, we’re going to explore a contrast that has been mentioned countless times in the parkour community: fear.
If you have ever watched beginners during a parkour class or training session, you may have noticed some general differences between the men and women. While the men are more likely to go for a precision jump or speed vault on the first try, most women approach obstacles more cautiously and slowly. Women are more likely to express their fear when they approach an intimidating obstacle, and they may need more encouragement to overcome it. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions on both sides of the gender pool, but overall, it looks like women fear more than men when it comes to parkour.
You might think that’s a pretty bold statement, especially if you believe there are no significant differences between the guys and the gals, but just hear me out before closing this tab in your browser. Like many people, I initially believed women had more fear than men. I believed that the lump in my throat before throwing a big cat leap didn’t effect my male training partners with the same magnitude. Heck, I even used it as an internal excuse to put off scary movements that were well within my limits. After a while, I began to question my assumptions about gender and fear.
So I put on my detective hat and went out to find the answer to the age-old (or at least decade-old) question of whether female parkour athletes have more fear than male practitioners. The answer may surprise you.