Male and female skeletons may look quite similar at first glance, but there are actually some key differences between the bones of men and women. These differences are due to various factors, including hormones, genetics, and lifestyle. In this article, we will explore some of the differences between male and female bones, and what they mean for overall health.

Size and Shape

The most obvious difference between male and female bones is size and shape. On average, men tend to have larger, heavier bones than women. This is partly due to the effects of testosterone, which stimulates bone growth and increases bone density. As a result, men generally have larger and more robust skeletons, with thicker bones in the legs, arms, and shoulders.

However, while men’s bones may be larger overall, women’s bones are shaped differently. Women’s hips are wider than men’s, which allows for childbirth. This wider pelvis also affects the angle of the thigh bone, which results in a slightly different angle at the knee joint. Women also tend to have shorter, narrower rib cages than men, which is why women’s waists appear narrower than men’s.


In addition to size and shape, there are also differences in bone density between men and women. Density refers to the amount of material present within the bone. Women typically have lower bone density than men, particularly after menopause. This is because women experience a more rapid loss of bone mass after menopause due to lower levels of estrogen, which plays a key role in bone metabolism. This can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle.

However, men are not immune to osteoporosis. Men can also experience bone loss as they age, particularly if they have low testosterone levels or other risk factors. In fact, men account for about one in four osteoporosis-related fractures.

Fracture Risk

Due to differences in size, shape, and density, men and women also have different risks of fracture. Women are more likely to experience fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine, while men are more likely to experience fractures of the hip, pelvis, and upper leg bone. This is partly due to differences in the way bones break under stress. Women’s bones are more likely to break from a fall, while men’s bones are more likely to break from high-impact trauma, such as a car accident.


While there are some differences between male and female bones, there are steps both genders can take to maintain healthy bones and reduce the risk of fractures. Eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, getting regular exercise (including weight-bearing exercise), avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and getting regular bone density tests are all important for maintaining bone health.

While men and women may have some differences in their bones, the most important thing is to take care of them regardless of gender. By being mindful of bone health and taking steps to prevent bone loss, everyone can enjoy strong and healthy bones throughout their lives.

For more information on bone health improvement, contact the Asian Bone, Muscle, and Joint Institute at (02) 8771-9000 local 8053.


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