Gender and In-Space Experiences (01-20-21)

Researchers have identified fundamental differences in how men and women experience space.  Wood and Jones report in a study published in Nature Human Behaviour that the increasingly gendered division of labor in human societies during the past 2.5 million years dramatically shaped how our species uses space, and possibly how we think about it.  Underlying these conclusions is a huge and detailed trove of travel data revealing stark differences in the ways men and women among the nomadic Hadza people of Tanzania use space. A contemporary hunter-gatherer society, the Hadza provide a window into a highly mobile lifestyle, which was the norm for our species before the widespread adoption of agriculture. . . . . Research in many human populations suggests men and women are better at different types of spatial tasks. On average, women tend to excel on spatial memory tasks, while men tend to score higher on two basic measures of spatial cognition associated with movement: mental rotation of objects and accurately pointing to distant locations.”

“Men and Women on the Move.” 2021.  Press release, Stanford University,