The WNBA on age difference in eligibility

Friday I published the player eligibility requirements for both the WNBA and NBA, as provided to me by the respective leagues. I had hoped to receive a response to a question I had about those stipulations before then, but I just obtained that answer this morning.

I asked, “Can you tell me why WNBA draftees are required to be 22 and NBA draftees are required to be 19?”

Of course there are exceptions that are laid out in the rules. But to be able to be drafted into the WNBA before age 22, an American player must have already graduated from college, or be about to graduate. (The only requirement for international players is that they are 20 years old).

The WNBA issued this answer statement to my question: “All of the WNBA’s eligibility requirements were negotiated with the Players Union, and have been working well for the league, the players and our friends at the NCAA for 15 years. Players come into the WNBA with a great maturity and readiness as athletes and as young women.”

What do you think about this? Why do you think males are allowed to be “less mature” to enter the NBA?