Gender Strengths: The Differences Between Men and Women

Advantage: Men.  This time, at least. New research has uncovered furthered disparities between what men excel in and what women excel in, and this latest skill appears to be more prevalent in men – sound localization. In layman’s terms, this is essentially locating the source of a sound, even when the environment is already noisy. Researchers studied the ability by asking men and women to listen to sounds and determine the location of it, either by pointing towards it or naming the exact position (i.e. 45 degrees left). At first, the sounds were presented one at a time.  In this situation, men and women performed with equal accuracy. Later, sounds were presented simultaneously, and the participant was asked to focus on and locate on only one sound.  In this case, women found the task much more difficult compared to men, to the extent that sometimes they even thought the sound was coming from the opposite direction. Previously, men have found to have similar abilities with visual tasks – for instance, they are generally faster at finding empty parking spots and have less trouble navigating in a new city.  Women, meanwhile, are generally known to be more verbally fluent, have better manual dexterity and are better at noticing things (like a new haircut). Researchers speculate these different abilities in men and women have developed through natural and sexual selection processes of evolution. The study was published in the journal Cortex.