Monday, June 01, 2009

More sex difference theories

Scientists believe the reason the sexes differ is due to their different roles in evolution.

Men had to hunt and stalk their prey, so became skilled at navigation, while women foraged for food and so became good at spotting fruits and nuts close by.

The theory emerged from a study which looked at the different ways in which men and women appreciate art.

Researchers discovered that a brain region called the parietal lobe, which governs spatial awareness, is active in both men and women when they admire a "beautiful" picture or photograph.

But while neurons on both sides of the brain were stimulated in women, only those in the right hemisphere were activated in men.

The left side deals with closer range objects while the right is better at co-ordinates.

The scientists, led by Dr Francisco Ayala from the University of California, and reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, believe differences in the way men and women appreciate beauty probably arose early in the evolution of early modern humans, say the researchers.

Hunting, traditionally done by men, required a "co-ordinating" ability to track animals accurately while on the move.

Closer spatial awareness was better suited to foraging for fruit, roots or berries, a job mainly carried out by women.

Women tend to be more aware than men of objects around them, including those that seem irrelevant to the current task, whereas men out-perform women in navigation tasks, the scientists wrote.

Men tend to solve navigation tasks by using orientation-based strategies involving distance concepts and cardinal directions, whereas women tend to base their activities on remembering the location of landmarks and relative directions, such as "left from", or "to the right of"."

The Telegraph

How does this resonate with you?


Alexandra said...

This seems to be based on the darwinian theory of evolution, men coming from the ape, as I understand it. Or we are talking about bush men.

So I am not quite sure if this resonates with me.
But then I am a woman :)

Antony said...

Indeed, however it does show where mainstream science is going