Men vs. Women: Spatial ability differences due to nurture?


The Naked Scientists, September 02, 2011


Men are generally better at spatial awareness than women.  But is this gender difference a result of nature or nurture?  A recent study suggests nurture…

Identifying the contributions of nature and nurture in cognition is difficult – only rare cases exist where one is held constant and the other varied.  Two tribes in Northeast India, however, provide one such example.

The Khasi and Karbi tribes are very close relatives.  They diverged only a few hundred years ago, and inter-marrying still continues enough to prevent isolated gene pools.  The culture of each tribe is very different.  Whilst the Khasi are a matrilineal society – where women inherit and own the land – the Karbi are a patrilineal society – where men inherit and own the land.

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