Is Dr. Benjamin Starting to Show His True Colors?

By Katrina Belcher (KatrinaBelcher@mmaratings.net)

I think it’s time for Dr. Johnny Benjamin of mmajunkie.com to retire.

Just for the record, I have never said nor implied that “women have equal muscle mass and endurance” as men. I don’t think women are physically equal to men. To even think these things would be absurd. But, Dr. Ben’s last article so blatantly implies women have more injuries than men – just because they’re women, that it’s bordering bizarre. And he’s written them without using any comparable documentation or support.

In fact, Dr. Ben’s last two articles have been dissected and bashed by so many people, they’re starting to write Rebuttals. So I’m not the only one who feels this way about what he’s said. As others have mentioned, Dr. Ben takes only the data he needs up to a point, and then twists it around to support his conjecture. The way he has worded his most recent article is meant to IMPLY certain things to make the casual reader believe what he says is fact: like women athletics have more injuries than men just because they’re women. If you read his article thoroughly you’ll see what I mean.

Dr. Ben states as fact “Some injuries exhibit gender bias (meaning, an injury is more common in one sex than the other). Concussions and ACL knee injuries, for example, display gender bias.” His opinion – not a fact.

He also says that “The incidence of both concussions and ACL knee injuries are far more common in female athletes than male.” These are not facts that are true of just women. Again, his opinion – not a fact.

He then goes on to say “The current concepts regarding these findings have to do in part with muscle strength, fatigue and anatomy.“ implying this to be a fact that only applies to women.

The problem is that he uses studies by Borotikar, Newcomer, Koppes, Mclean, and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association to make his conjecture sound legit. But neither of these two studies conducted the same research on men so how can one make an honest comparison? Simply put, it is not a fact that men are less susceptible to fatigue and ACL knee injuries than women, so how can he say that these injuries exhibit gender bias? This is my contention.

One of the responsive comments to his article, made by Jarman, was “If he had said something like: ‘Men need to focus more on ‘x,y,z’ when proactively training for injury prevention, whereas women need to focuse more on ‘a,b,c’’ I would have no problem with the article. it would have relevance. It’s more than ‘I disagree’, it’s ‘I strongly disagree, quit this ridiculous crusade against women gaining equality in MMA.” How true. He also said “this article is little more than a life preserver to buoy up some of those poorly supported statements from that ‘women should not fight 5 minute rounds’ piece”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The data Dr. Ben quoted in this article is not applicable in this situation, as it does not include similar studies on men. And once again he’s stating his opinion as fact. It’s not fact…it’s just how he feels. If he had said “in my opinion, I feel that…” we wouldn’t even be having this conversation right now.

And in fact there are many real doctors who would do an excellent job of using data to support their conjecture, or admitting that their conjecture is their OPINION based on that data, not implying it is factual as Dr. Ben has done. With all due respect to mmajunkie.com, I suggest it’s time for them to find a real doctor – one who’s not afraid to admit their opinion is just that…their opinion.

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