from the don't-play-with-venomous-things dept.
Foot-in-Mouth writes "New Scientist reports that girls are more "primed" to fear spiders and snakes, compared to boys. Infant boys and girls were shown pairs of images, a fearful and a happy object (such as a spider and a flower), measuring the boys' and girls' dwell times on the images. And in another similar test, normally happy objects (such as a flower) were given a fearful face and fearful objects were given a happy face. The results of these two tests suggested to the researcher that girls are not wired to fear spiders, for example, but rather girls are wired to more quickly learn to fear dangerous animals.
The researcher, David Rakison at CMU, 'attributes the difference to behavioural differences between men and women among our hunter-gatherer ancestors. An aversion to spiders may help women avoid dangerous animals, but in men evolution seems to have favoured more risk-taking behaviour for successful hunting.'
This reminds one of men's obsession with video games. Will game designers use this information to tweak video games for gender, either to make the games more or less frightening?"
"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts
most subtly on the human will."
-- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"