Less Fear or More Instinct?
  • Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    143

    Less Fear or More Instinct?

    I watched a show on the Discovery Channel last night that dealt with the differences between men and women, mainly the differences in the brain.

    Advertisement


    I'd always thought that it was just a myth that men were better drivers than women. On this TV show they did a series of tests involving driving skills and navigation. In each test men came out way ahead of women. One particular test was a parking test: men and women were asked to park a variety of cars they had never driven before. On average, it took the women 3-5 times longer to park the cars than it took the men, AND the women didn't park the cars as squarely as the men. The men were fast and precise.

    Since I live in NJ and go into the City a lot, I've noticed this myself. There's a restaurant we go to which is ideal for watching people parallel park. Most women don't do it, they valet park. When women do attempt to parallel park, all eyes in the restaurant seem or turn and wait-staff seem to lose their train of thought. But the men who parallel park never seem to have much trouble.

    Do you think men have less trouble driving because they are less fearful, less hesitant and aren't as concerned with tapping someone's bumper or does the issue go deeper than this?

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    148
    I feel that in general men are not only less fearful and less hesitant, but more capable at technical things as well, and just as concerned (if not more) with tapping someone's bumper.

    However, being less fearful, perhaps this is why men have more accidents. So, in general, men on one hand are "better" drivers, but on the other hand more likely to have accidents.

    Ps. No offence to female drivers out there...The above comments are "in general", I do know women that are excellent drivers.

    <small>[ 23 August 2003, 12:25 AM: Message edited by: rc968 ]</small>

  3. #3
    XTC
    XTC is offline
    VIC: a fine driving state XTC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Location Location Location
    Posts
    8,566
    It's well recorded fact, that on average men have better visio-spatial abilities ... that’s why the misses can never tell if that left over spag-bog will fit in the take away container - that and parallel parking Doesn't make them a worse driver as such, but generally it's harder to judge distances for most of them (but not all).

    - XTC206 -
    You're not fooling everyone, or did you forget? .......




    '02 Peugeot 206 GTi / '07 VW Golf GTI
    Now this is a .sig
    AF'd in PER, MEL, SYD, ADL, CBR

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! nchandler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    650
    I'll happily say that as a whole, men are more capable drivers than women. The simple reason being, is that more men take an interest in cars and driving, whereas many women wouldn't know anything about what they drive aside from the make and colour. When you take an interest in something, you get better at it.

    Nick

  5. #5
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    4,355
    Is it just me, but has anyone else noticed that men seem to have a better sense of direction than women?

    Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that we are more daring - if I'm in an unfamiliar area, I'm not really flustered driving down roads I've never been down, because it's still headed in the right direction. But some others seem to get all flustered at the thought of driving down a road they've never been down before.

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
    Aussiefrogged in MEL, PER, SYD, BNE & ADL.
    Rendezvous Adelaide 2005

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1,630
    Jamesnj:

    Do you think men have less trouble driving because they are less fearful, less hesitant and aren't as concerned with tapping someone's bumper or does the issue go deeper than this?
    I suspect, in the "parking" situation in a large measure its because we males have this somewhat silly ego thing which makes us feel like "failures" if we can't perform certain sorts of tasks like this easily. We like to "show off" our abilities in such situations and hate to make, or admit to, mistakes. We therefore try harder. (I hate to admit it, but its probably the reason that I almost always back in to shopping centre car park bays!)

    Women are far more relaxed about such issues.

    Mind you, I'd have to say that I know a hell of a lot of women who are damned good reverse parkers!

    Ultimatel;y, of course, the stats suggest that men actually have far MORE trouble driving well (in the broad sense) than women. Because we like to show off we have a lot higher injury and fatality rate, especially when we are young.

    As to whether these things are "nature" or "nurture", its really pretty impossible to separate the two. Most of the studies that try to do so are pretty flawed, and the entire dichotomy itself is based on some questionable assumptions. Read the wonderful, but now sadly deceased, Steven Jay Gould's "The Mismeasure of Man" for some good discussion about such matters.

    Cheers

    Rod

    <small>[ 23 August 2003, 09:59 AM: Message edited by: Rod Hagen ]</small>
    Rod's Home Page

    Rod's car page

    Peugeot 407 SV HDi estate 2008, Peugeot 407 SV Hdi Sedan 2006, Peugeot 406 ST (deadish), Peugeot 307 XSE, - Previously 403s, 404, 504, 505 sLI Wagons, 306 XSi, Renault 12, Citroen DSpecial

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Pugnut403's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    1,419
    There was a book published a few years ago called "Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps". It showed the results of a lot of study which found that the spatial area of most women is not as large as in most men, but the area was used up for other skills. They surmised that this was due to the days as hunter-gatherers, where the men would go out to hunt, and needed higher spatial skills, while the women stayed at the cave and needed other skills to be at their best.
    I have noticed that many women will turn a map upside down if they want to trace out a route heading south, whereas mast men will just visualise the direction of travel as down the page.
    I am not trying to put a slur on female drivers here, but the evidence sufggests that we are wired differently, and while men will usually be inherently better at parking, keeping a sense of direction etc, women will be better at other things.
    Pugs Rule!

    403, now sold
    404, project
    2010 Mitsubishi i MiEV electric car

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1,630
    Pugnut403:
    There was a book published a few years ago called "Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps". It showed the results of a lot of study which found that the spatial area of most women is not as large as in most men, but the area was used up for other skills. They surmised that this was due to the days as hunter-gatherers, where the men would go out to hunt, and needed higher spatial skills, while the women stayed at the cave and needed other skills to be at their best.
    I have noticed that many women will turn a map upside down if they want to trace out a route heading south, whereas mast men will just visualise the direction of travel as down the page.
    I am not trying to put a slur on female drivers here, but the evidence sufggests that we are wired differently, and while men will usually be inherently better at parking, keeping a sense of direction etc, women will be better at other things.
    Any self respecting anthropologist will tell you that the "men went out to hunt, women stayed at the cave" line is simply a myth, Pugnut.

    In almost all known hunter gatherer societies, women, rather than men, obtain the bulk of the food. If we exclude the "extreme climate " societies of the polar region like the Innuit the bulk of food used by hunter gatherers comes from plants and small animals, rather than the "big kills" that TV shows about "cavemen" love to portray. In the course of obtaining this food women , in fact, usually travel further than men.

    There are huge differences in "spacial skills" that are clearly and catagorically related simply to experience. The ability of bush Aboriginal people, male or female, to "read" country, estimate directions etc is simply phenomenal, but it certainly isn't related to some sort of genetically determined "brain difference". ( I've worked very extensively with Aboriginal people in both the bush and the longer settled areas - the difference between the two is just as great as the difference between bush Aboriginal people and town non-Indigenous people.)

    I've always reckoned I was pretty good at being able to find my way and "read" country, but compared to people like the Warlpiri or the Alyawerre in the NT I might as well be a baby.

    Its in a large measure a learned thing, this spacial ability stuff, whatever the pop culture books and "Discovery" shows might say.

    Cheers

    Rod
    Rod's Home Page

    Rod's car page

    Peugeot 407 SV HDi estate 2008, Peugeot 407 SV Hdi Sedan 2006, Peugeot 406 ST (deadish), Peugeot 307 XSE, - Previously 403s, 404, 504, 505 sLI Wagons, 306 XSi, Renault 12, Citroen DSpecial

  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger! frogs4ever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Tasmania
    Posts
    392
    On a recent, fairly rapid trip from Hobart to Launceston in the 504, the only car on the road going quicker than myself was an old lady in a Holden Barina. I don't usually like following other cars because so often they speed up and slow down for no apparent reason, and generally drive erraticly. I prefer to maintain a constant speed, usually right on the speed limit. The only time I looked like being overtaken was towards the end of a long straight heading into Campbelltown. A red Holden Barina, which must have been doing around 130 km/h came quickly into my rear view mirrors. When it got close enough, I had a look at the driver - it was an old lady with permed silver hair. She would have been at least 70 years old! They only reason she didn't overtake was than she turned off into a side street soon after we hit the 60 zone. It's not the first time I've seen old lady drivers putting their hat-wearing male counterparts, and younger female counterparts to shame.
    a_drink

    <small>[ 24 August 2003, 09:55 AM: Message edited by: frogs4ever ]</small>
    2004 Clio Expression Verve 4sp auto -
    1984 Fuego GTX 5 speed (now a write off) -
    1976 504 GL auto (sold)

    French cars, Australian wine.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •