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Differences Between Men And Women In Diving

Discussion in 'Women's Perspectives' started by dvrliz1, May 17, 2007.

  1. dvrliz1

    dvrliz1 Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Bonaire, Netherland Antilles
    I agree all you said above, and think the DAN research endowment is EXCELLENT. I'm going to have to get that book that is advertised on the infomercials about US government grants to see if I can find something that will qualify as a study grant. (You know that guy that wheres the suits with all the ?????? all over it!)

    Saw that one too...hah-hah. Actually I am know what a "hot flash" is (they say women as you as their mid thirties can experience pre-menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes). My husband would swear to you I was part reptilean...Sometimes at night when it gets into the mid to upper 70's here on Bonaire in January or February, I am in jeans, t-shirt and sweater!

    Thank you and you are so welcome!

  2. OceanObsessed

    OceanObsessed Marine Scientist

    We always know exactly where we are at. There are rare occurences where we have difficulty figuring out how to get to our destination but that is because either the map is wrong or the compass is malfunctioning :D.
  3. Sarah Moody

    Sarah Moody Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Texas
    Hi Liz - Sarah here with H2O Tours. I was the only female in my cert class in 1978...did I write that out loud :) and the only female in my instructor course in 1981. I think your seminar idea is great...there are tons more female divers now but there could be twice as many. Women have strength in the lower half of their body as opposed to men whose strength is in their upper half. In my opinion that makes women more graceful divers...sorry guys. Goggle Women in Diving and Women and Diving for ideas. There's alot of info out there but people don't know where to look.
  4. girldiverllc

    girldiverllc Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: Seattle, Washington
    I guess I better chime in here...

    I think there are some 'perceived' differences between men and women in diving. And I think we've already read some here.

    The gear is heavy. But, as an instructor, I can tell you that it's heavy for many of the guys as well. When we start to dive, we're using muscles in ways that we don't in our normal land life. For post-menopausal women...this means heavy weight lifting. Incidentally...that helps with bone density issues. And thats a good thing.

    Our sport is still a sport dominated by men, however, I can tell you in my conversations with the manufacturers, this is changing. GirlDiver has been contacted by more than one manufacturer and certification agency regarding women in diving. They know we're here...and we're here to stay. Expect to see more gear in female sizing...and not in pink.

    For who I dive with...well, I prefer to dive with divers who take our sport seriously. Who realize the water is bigger and heavier than we are, and take safety into consideration. These divers come in both varieties.

    I think the "discrimination" issue is more complex than simply yes or no. We ARE in the minority. Have I experienced "man-beasts"...well, yes. My first dive shop experience, the dive dude behind the counter told me that after I took my OW class...and I got "good enough"...then I could dive with the guys. Was I appalled? No, but I did take my classes, clear through instructor, at a place down the street that was owned by a woman. As a female, I live in a world where comments are made. Just as I'm sure that men have comments made to them at times as well. We can't change other people...we only have control over what we do with what they say.

    Are there differences? Absolutely. Men generally talk about the latest gadget at the dive site, women talk about life, love and family. Men generally have a goal for their dive...women poke around to see the fish. Women have smaller lungs, issues with cold and chocolate is better than oxygen.

    Yes, there are differences. But not inferiority issues. There are excellent women divers, and excellent men. There are women who don't take the sport seriously enough for safety's sake, and men who fall into that category as well.

    At this time, my business is serving a "niche" market. Women in the scuba industry. While there are 2.8 million of us nationwide...we're still considered a "niche". Pretty cool, I think.

    Women or men? I think the absolute equalizer of our sport is that underwater, we're all just visitors. And the fish don't mind.
  5. Diversitea

    Diversitea Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    Hi Liz,

    I have been diving since 1996, and have logged 1200+ dives, most in the past 6 years. The biggest thing I notice as a female diver is that my tolerance to cold is almost nonexistent. I spoke at length with John Boyer, who works for DUI, and he enlightened me. Women respond differently to cold than men, from a physiological standpoint. Evidently, men do not feel the cold as we do, and can tolerate more exposure to cold, but will not survive as well over the long run, because of this phenomenon.

    I dive Dry in water that is colder than 80 degrees F. I need extra thermal protection under the drysuit (more than a Polartec 150) when it's cooler than 75 degrees - I put on thin, ski-type thermals under the polar fleece!)

    Low bodyfat has something to do with it, but not all.

    I also find if I am eating well (I live on Vitamineral Green Smoothies) and staying hydrated, it helps combat the cold.

    We also seem to use less breathing gas.

    What is your experience?


    PS - I make Diversitea, Herbal Tea for Divers, and have an offer for a free sample of all 3 kinds on my website (www.diversitea.com) if you want to try it!
  6. Bubble Maker

    Bubble Maker Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Hayward, CA
    My issue seems to run with a lot of others here. Not all the women that dive are models! In fact I have seen more larger women diving than I have model types. I'd like to see guys try to buy gear that was sized the same way womens gear is!:D It is a conspiracy I tell ya!

    Other than that I have never had any problems. I do get more help from guys when getting my gear to/from the boat or getting tanks from the shop, etc.

    I think most guys, except for some of the guys on this board, are cool with diving with a girl.:)
  7. Fish_Whisperer

    Fish_Whisperer Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: In a car underwater with time to kill....
    My favorite dive buddy, and who has probably taught me more than anyone but my instructor, just by virtue of the way they dive, is a woman. :)
  8. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    Delia Millirond wrote a fascinating article in Quest magazine about the differences between male and female divers in technical training, which really resonated with me. Her thesis is that women tend to move more slowly through their training, and really want to consolidate things and get them RIGHT before attacking the next challenge, while men are more willing to wing it forward and see what happens. That's certainly been the case for me and my regular dive buddy (who is male). He always wants to jump to the next thing when I'm saying, "Let's practice what we haven't gotten completely down yet."

    Gear is an issue, particularly with fit (can we say custom EVERYTHING?) although a backplate and harness solved a lot of those issues for me. Strength has been an issue, but it's slowly coming. Still, watching my buddy wear his doubled 130s and carry my doubles, too, is mind-boggling.

    I haven't run into any condescension or patronizing or any discouragement related to either my gender OR my age, even though I'm heading down a technical pathway. The guys I dive with are great, and most of the time seem to forget that I'm female, something for which I am sometimes grateful and something quite disappointed :)
  9. lswaters

    lswaters Guest

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New Mexico, but my heart is in Minnesota.
    I'm a 54 year old woman who got my open water cert in August 2006. I'm now 4 dives away from Divemaster. I view diving as a wonderful challenge, and sincerely hope I never loose my caution and just the right amount of nervousness to keep me safe. I've learned something on every dive, and I'm constantly getting more controlled and more relaxed (which is definitely showing up in my air consumption).
    The best thing I did was get proper fitting equipment - the men's BCD I had to rent in open water training was too tight in the hips and too loose in the shoulders - it's a wonder that any woman who has to put up with that would be inspired to keep diving!
    Having long ago decided that losing weight is a losing proposition (230 pounds and proud), I decided to change fat for muscle and work very hard in the gym, also swim 3 times a week with the local Masters group. I started lifting free weights in 1980, long before it was popular with women. Since I started diving I've been working especially hard on the bench press and strengthening legs, which has really helped with the tank weights. They just don't feel heavy at all. I really wish more women would dump the 5 pound dumbell workout and really start lifting to their abilities, which are a lot higher than they they are led to believe.
    One trouble I'll always be stuck with is having tanks drag on the ground when I try to carry them since I'm about an inch too short to get them off the ground comfortably.
    I regularly dive with men buddies and somehow I can't help thinking they are happy to see me improving. But.. in our little dive group there's only one other woman.
    I help our local instructor as much as I can, and have seen some very promising young girls in the intro to scuba class. (One of them told me how she dreams about being underwater looking up at the world - you would't believe how beautifully she moved with her little tank for the first time). Too young to be put off by peer pressure, and I'm wondering how to help them. In the past I've paid swimming instructors to give a few lessons to young women who just don't have the means themselves, and I'm trying to think about how to establish such a thing on a more formal basis to the diving world. Maybe make it a charity and solicit donations? I haven't got a clue how to go about such a thing.
    Laurie in New Mexico
  10. Gene_Hobbs

    Gene_Hobbs Instructor, Scuba

    Hi Laurie,

    GREAT WORK! You might want also want to take a look at the Women Divers Hall of Fame ™ scholarships.

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