Having written on gender once or twice I was interested to hear, on a Guardian Science Weekly Podcast about a some experiments intended to put some gender stereotypes to the test. Some of the tests were to be used at an event last night entitled War of the Sexes at the Science Museum’s DANA Centre.
In the podcast, Professor Geoff Sanders describes tests designed to measure tracking ability – basically using a joystick to track a moving dot on a computer screen. In one version, a short joystick was controlled by the hand and wrist alone. In another, a longer joystick needed to be controlled by the shoulder and arm. It seems that women tend to be better at the former and men at the latter. Professor Saunders posits an evolutionary reason for this. One would think then that there would be, for example, more male cellists and trombonists and more female trumpeters and woodwind players. I wonder how to go about collecting the statistics on that…..
Had I not lived so far from the venue, I’d have been interested in attending an event like this. As it was, I was at a parents evening where the stats were:
Girls 45% Boys 55%
Mums 50% Dads 50%
Speaking of statistics, would it be stretching the spirit of the law to suggest that unnecessarily vague language constitutes a breach of the Freedom of Information Act? As a parent, which would you rather see?
Attendance – generally good
Attendance – 14/16 (missed 26 Nov & 13 Jan)
One thought on “Arms and gender wars”
Interesting about the joysticks Alan. I kneel and use my wrists and hands normally when I am gardening…to dig, plant, edge grass etc.(instead of digging with a spade)I put my strength in the wrists down to playing piano, but reading this makes me wonder if it is just because I’m a girl!
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