Visceral Fat vs. Subcutaneous Fat - Visceral fat formed in the abdomen and surrounding the internal organs is the result of high in fat and sugar diets and/or inactivity. Visceral fat is linked to bad cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Subcutaneous fat is superficial fat found just under the skin which does not pose such serious health risks. Subcutaneous fat is also much easier to lose than visceral fat. The key thing to take away here is women may store more fat, but it tends to be less dangerous than fat stored by men.
Pregnancy – A women's body is constantly preparing itself to nourish a pregnancy. Because of this, women's bodies tend to store more fat even when they are not increasing their caloric intake.
In short, ideal body fat percentage is higher for women because of how they store fat, the type of fat that develops, and their body's tendency to store additional fat.
Remember, when measuring your body fat percentage; do not compare your results to that of the opposite gender. Body fat percentage is definitely a test where you want to remain gender specific!