I agree with Buttigieg and DeLauro about female crash test dummies

Update: I've been reliably informed that there have been "female" crash test dummies for decades. That makes this whole DeLauro and Buttigieg stand on "principles" completely ridiculous.

Update to the update: In the back of my mind, I knew we have used differently-sized crash test dummies, but I still felt strongly that there was something more at issue here. Having slept on it overnight so that my subconscious had a stab at the question, I started to wonder if, while the existing dummies are different in size, they have the same tensile resilience. That is, a 5'10" woman will still be more fragile, especially around the neck, than a 5'10" man. So simply scaling dummies down in size isn't necessarily the answer.

I must admit that I feel uncomfortable in my own skin when I find myself agreeing with both Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Rosa DeLauro on any topic at all, but the reality is that they’re right about the need for female crash test dummies. As conservatives have argued all along, there are significant sex differences between men and women, and those differences affect their bodies’ resilience in the face of high-impact car accidents.

Last week, Rep. DeLauro, a hard-leftist from Connecticut, gave a statement on the floor praising Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg for planning to spend around $20 million on female crash test dummies:

During the House Appropriations Committee hearing on the Department of Transportation budget, DeLauro used her time to praise Transportation Secretary Pete Butigieg’s initiatives to rectify the “gender inequity” among crash victims.

DeLauro singled out the “use of female dummies” for roadway crash testing as one of these Buttigieg initiatives she supports.

“You also plan to make important investments to address the roadway safety crisis, including the critical funding that would accelerate the development – and this is an area that I’ve written to you about – of the use of female dummies in crash testing,” she said. “This will start to fight the gender inequity among vehicle safety and crash victims.”

Conservatives rightly laughed at Democrats for this hypocrisy. The political party that insists that, just by wishing, men and women can magically change their biological sex, a change that is then so real all of society must acknowledge and bow before it, was suddenly conceding that there are, in fact, immutable biological differences between men and women.

Image: Crash test dummy by brgfx.

However, along with pointing and laughing, conservatives went in the other direction and said that it was a ridiculous waste of money to create specifically female crash test dummies. And that’s where I find myself parting ways with conservatives and saying that Buttigieg and DeLauro have a point.

Male and female differences aren’t just about reproductive organs and facial hair. They are about fundamental musculoskeletal differences. A woman can be as tall as a man or weigh as much as a man (making child crash test dummies useless), but that doesn’t change the fact that she will, on average, have less bone density and, importantly, less muscle density.

In addition to the fact that women are simply smaller boned than men, making their bones more fragile, as they age, women suffer significantly more from osteoporosis than men do. Once they head into menopause, which can start in some women’s 30s, women’s bones slowly start turning into cottage cheese. In addition, all women lose bone density immediately after pregnancy, with some women failing to restore that lost density over time. All of those factors make women more vulnerable to high-impact events.

There is something that helps protect bones, and that’s muscles. Once again, though, men have the advantage. I learned this in martial arts when we were routinely taught to be very careful practicing chokeholds on women. Men have stronger muscles protecting the neck than women, making them less vulnerable to a chokehold or an impact.

Indeed, that’s true all over the body, something that could still be acknowledged in 2011: “Men are, in general, more muscular than women. Women are just over half as strong as men in their upper bodies, and about two-thirds as strong in their lower bodies.”

Women also tend to be shorter than men. This difference became very obvious in the early days of airbags. The average woman moves her seat closer to the steering wheel than the average man, her head is lower and therefore closer to the steering wheel, and her neck has less musculature to protect it. Airbags were tested on generic crash test dummies, which are modeled on men. The unanticipated outcome was that women, shorter and closer to the steering wheel, could be decapitated when an airbag deployed.

Crash test dummies should reflect the average of the four types of people who travel in American cars: Babies and children in the back, and women and men in the front (both as drivers and passengers). To do any less is just one more denial of biological reality, making us just as bad as the woke left.

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