Males' superior spatial ability probably not an evolutionary adaptation

03/2013

Evidence against an evolutionary explanation for male superiority in spatial ability coves from a review of 35 studies covering 11 species: cuttlefish, deer mice, horses, humans, laboratory mice, meadow voles, pine voles, prairie voles, rats, rhesus macaques and talastuco-tucos (a type of burrowing rodent). In eight species, males demonstrated moderately superior spatial skills to their female counterparts, regardless of the size of their territories or the extent to which males ranged farther than females of the same species.

The findings lend support to an alternative theory: that the tendency for males to be better at spatial navigation may just be a "side effect" of testosterone.

http://phys.org/news/2013-02-males-superior-spatial-ability-evolutionary.html

[3315] Clint, E. K., Sober E., GarlandJr. T., & Rhodes J. S.
(2012).  Male Superiority in Spatial Navigation: Adaptation or Side Effect?.
The Quarterly Review of Biology. 87(4), 289 - 313.

Full text available at http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/668168

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