Is there something different in the muscle structure for males vs. females? Or does it have to do with hormones?

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    What makes you think that's true? – Hunan Rostomyan Aug 27 '16 at 5:37
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    It should be migrated to Biology.stackexchange, right? – ABcDexter Aug 27 '16 at 7:39
  • +1 Testicularly speaking, I wonder if it has anything to do with hormone differences between the sexes such as testosterone? – Facebook Aug 29 '16 at 6:04

On a population level, women tend to have higher body fat percentage than men: 25% for normal women versus 15% for men. This means that for a man and women with equally-sized abs, the man's abs will look more prominent because they have less fat on top of them.

Another contributing factor is that men put on muscle more easily than women do. This isn't sexism, it's biological fact due to the actions of testosterone to build muscle. If a man and a woman exercise for the same amount of time and the same intensity, the man will build more muscle because he has about 3x as much testosterone as the woman, and androgens (including testosterone) increase muscle growth. (This is why some body builders take "steroids": to boost their muscle growth.)

So, in summary, the reason men develop "more abs" is because they have lower body fat and can build muscle more easily. This is of course ON AVERAGE...there are plenty of men who have no visible abs and plenty of women with impressive 6-packs. Any individual through proper diet and exercise can develop good-looking abs regardless of their gender.

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    Please add some references... Well written response though! – L.B. Jul 19 '17 at 15:40
  • It is also worth noting that abs tend to appear 12% or lower on the body though a major factor is also genetics. Some show at 15% while others you need to be under 10%. As you stated, due to the difference in natural body fat, men tend to show more so than females. – ggiaquin16 Jul 19 '17 at 18:04

First of All, women naturally have more body fat and it is healthier for a woman to have more body fat. We are naturally designed this way because we need the fat to help with pregnancies. We tend to have more belly fat for this purpose. It is a bit difficult for women to get 6-pack abs. Males and females need to follow different diets. Food affects men and women differently. Though men and women both need to do a different of styles of crunches, women need to particularly focus on diagonal crunches which target the lower abdominal section. It may not be that you are not working hard enough but that you are not eating the right foods and doing the right exercises. And also need to include cardio as well.

References: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-does-fat-deposit-on-t/ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302115755.htm http://slowyoga.com.au/its-ok-to-be-soft-why-womens-bodies-naturally-have-more-fat/

  • +1 for recognizing that "abs" are more about body fat than muscle. Reduce your body fat percentage to the minimum and you'll have "abs" even without crunches. Conversely, you could have the most well developed abdominal muscles ever and still not have visible "abs" if they're under a layer of body fat. Since the minimum (healthy) body fat percentage for women is about 14% vs 6% for men, for a woman to have comparable "abs" would require her to drop to an unhealthy fat level. – Carey Gregory Aug 29 '16 at 18:16
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    -1 for literally everything else in your answer apart from a basic understanding that abs are about body fat percentage. There is a lot that is incorrect here. – John Aug 31 '16 at 15:35
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    This post has the makings of a very good answer, but here on Health, we strongly encourage using references. They are the only way in which we can tell if information is reliable or not. If you are struggling to find good sources, check out, What are reliable sources? If you want to learn more about our site's stance on answers without references, check out, Should answers without references be immediately deleted? Thanks :) – michaelpri Aug 31 '16 at 17:14
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    -1 for not adding the references even two weeks after being prompted by a mod to do so. Website policies should not be ignored. – Lucky Sep 13 '16 at 7:44
  • Can we delete this answer due to low quality? – Narusan May 30 '17 at 8:19

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