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Should women (or anyone) play rugby league?

Bowyangs

Juniors
Messages
5
As much as I love rugby league and support gender equality, the question of whether women and girls should play rugby league has been playing on my mind as more and more studies come out showing that women’s brains have an increased risk of concussion and CTE from contact sports. I want to women to have equal opportunities to men but what if the risks aren’t equal? It’s an ethical quandary. Does anyone have any thoughts? Of course you could just say no one should play a sport that risks such severe long term consequences.
 
Messages
657
Cars and trucks hurtle past me as I walk along the pavement. Means that every day I'm a couple of metres and seconds from instant death. Should I stay at home? Is going out too dangerous?
 

ALX25

Bench
Messages
3,293
 

Bowyangs

Juniors
Messages
5
Extensive harms to body and mind from inactivity.

Inordinate risk aversion stultifies humanity.
No one is suggesting that women should just sit at home instead of playing rugby league. Those aren’t the only two options. The question is how do we decide what is an acceptable level of risk? Do we just leave it up to the individuals and see how it goes in 10 years when the first generation of professional nrlw players starts feeling the full effects?
 

10$ Ferret

Moderator
Staff member
Messages
1,158
I have never seen any reports about increased risks for concussion (knee and hip injuries yes)
 

yakstorm

First Grade
Messages
5,680
There is limited research indicating that women are more susceptible to concussions, and potentially can suffer more severe symptoms than men.

There is no evidence yet that Women are more prone to CTE than Men (in fact only one professional female athlete has been diagnosed with CTE) and we know concussion alone doesn't cause CTE, but is rightfully focused on because repetitive concussion is one of the few quantifiable indicators of cumulative brain trauma.

There is no doubt that CTE is more prevalent in athletes who have played contact sports. The percentages put out by various groups indicate that approximately 6% of population shows signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy post death, versus 9% of those who play contact sport, with of course those who play American football professionally having the highest prevalence of any group in all the different studies done globally.

Ending the NRLW or preventing women & girls from playing Rugby League does not necessarily stop an individual from developing CTE. For some players, they already have it, for others, taking away RL doesn't prevent them from exposing themselves to the risks via other sports and then unfortunately for others, they were going to develop it.

For me, the path is the game needs to take moving forward is to learn from what we know now, and continue to evolve the rules to minimise the risk of concussion and support effective recovery. Players need to be informed of the risks, and the onus needs to be put on them to decide whether they wish to play or not.
 

T-Boon

Coach
Messages
15,626
As much as I love rugby league and support gender equality, the question of whether women and girls should play rugby league has been playing on my mind as more and more studies come out showing that women’s brains have an increased risk of concussion and CTE from contact sports. I want to women to have equal opportunities to men but what if the risks aren’t equal? It’s an ethical quandary. Does anyone have any thoughts? Of course you could just say no one should play a sport that risks such severe long term consequences.
I think women should be forced to do national service and a year in the military.
 
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