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Tag: gender

November 11 2009

Q: How does evolution explain why men tend to outperform women in mathematics and spatial reasoning?

A: Our species has a long biological heritage of men going out to do the hunting while the women stay at the camp to do the gathering. The men that tended to get lost because of their terrible spatial skills were the ones that tended to go hungry, so the men that were more likely to know their way around were more likely to feed and then breed. Over the generations, this tendency has made males slightly more prone to better spatial reasoning.

There are many factors that led to this, but males tend to be more logical while females tend to be more analytical. This is true, but it is far from being the rule. The important word is “tend” in this situation. Males are neither smarter nor more logical than females. Just take a long look at the most vocal sports fans. And females are neither dumber nor less logical than males. Just take a long look at the list of female scientists/physicists/mathematicians of the world.

While it’s easy to overgeneralize based on minute differences, it is the height of foolish to assume that men are naturally pre-disposed towards mathematics and reason. Males tend to be taller and stronger, but that is quickly reaching the point where it’s completely irrelevant. In an enlightened civilization such as ours, it’s increasingly hard for people to play the gender card, especially since it’s just a card trick anyway.

October 21 2009

Q: Can someone tell me why men and women eat differently?

A: Though we are the same species, our differences in gender play a huge role in how our bodies use energy. Males tend to be larger and do more physical labor, so they tend to need more energy. Females tend to be smaller, and since they carry children their diets need to be more nutritious. Because of these biological roles, our eating habits tend to vary greatly.

However, the term “tend” is an important one because not ever male is large, not every male does labor, not every female is small, and not every female gives birth. So, really, there are as many reasons why our diets are different as there are people on the planet. But understanding the biological role of consumption is a good place to start.