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Re: Article on women and mathematics

On 2005-03-06 16:27:38 +0100, Miriam Ruiz said:
> --- "Hanna M. Wallach" <hmw26@cam.ac.uk> wrote:
> > Just read this article --
> > http://chronicle.com/free/v51/i26/26a00102.htm
> > (found out about it via
> > another women in computing mailing list) -- thought
> > it might be of
> > interest here too.
> The article is quite interesting, but this quote,
> afaik, is nonsense:
> Other studies establish a clear link between hormones
> and mathematical abilities, says David C. Geary, a
> professor of psychology at the University of Missouri
> at Columbia and author of Male, Female: The Evolution
> of Human Sex Differences (American Psychological
> Association, 1998). "In transsexuals, when you
> suppress male hormones, their spatial abilities go
> down," he says. "When you give male hormones to women,
> their spatial abilities go up."

"Gay men employ the same strategies for navigating as women - using
landmarks to find their way around - a new study suggests. 

But they also use the strategies typically used by straight men, such as
using compass directions and distances. In contrast, gay women read maps
just like straight women, reveals the study of 80 heterosexual and
homosexual men and women."


I found this via an article about "New research shows..." in a tabloid
newspaper, so I am not quite sure about it's reliability. The difference
in gay behaviour compared to straight men is interesting, it may
indicate that it's more than learning patterns behind this (or that
homosexuality is determining kids' interests at a very early age). Both
I and my two brothers know how to read maps and use a compass, but when
they tend to rely completely on the map, I always try to map the map to
the terrain and use landmarks, hills, rivers etc for navigation. The
same goes for mapreading when driving - I use to say "turn left at the
next junction/church/whatever", while my brothers keeps track of compass
directions and navigate by "we have to get more noth before we turn".

This could be learning patterns from our parents; even though we all
learned how to use maps and compass (and I was actually the only one
among us doing orienteering while I was in school), it was always our
father who did map reading when we walked in the mountains, we never saw
mum do that. But also my husband has the same behaviour as my brothers,
and he grew up with only his mother and rather few male role models, so
if this was "just" learning he should probably have a more "visual"
approach to navigation.

None of this proves anything, but I find it interesting nevertheless.

Magni :)
sash is very good for you.

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