Yes, gender does affect heart rate.
Do Men or Women Have a Higher Heart Rate?
As a general rule, the heart rate of an animal is proportionate to its body size. The heart rate of the resting beluga whale is around 12-20 beats per minute, whereas a hummingbird's heart rate can reach 1260 beats per minute.
Women tend to be smaller than men, and therefore have higher heart rates. The average resting heart beat for men is around 70, whereas it's around 75 for women.
What Else Affects Heart Rate?
- Age - Your maximum heart rate decreases as you get older.
- Body Temperature - The hotter you get, the faster your heart beats.
- Eating - To help with digestion, your heart rate increases after you've eaten a meal.
- Physical Activity - During exercise, your heart rate increases to help move oxygen around your body and remove carbon monoxide from your muscles. It can beat two to three times faster than it does when you're resting.
- Drugs - Caffeine and amphetamines can cause your heart rate to increase. This can be dangerous, and is part of the reason why death is sometimes associated with illegal drugs like speed.