News Item

Sex - why men are better map-readers

Research has shown that men evolved with a better sense of direction as it helped them wander for miles to have sex with women.

A University of Utah study looked at 2 tribes in Namibia which have maintained the same traditions for centuries. The men regularly roam and forage across 120 miles of terrain a year and regularly mate with women in the regions they cover - but women of the tribes do not travel as far.

The researchers suggest that men may have wanted to breed with women in different regions to spread their genes further afield, reduce inbreeding or simply because their culture allowed it. As a result, they developed better spatial skills - such as navigation and direction - that still show up today in the difference between male and female brains.

In spatial awareness tasks - from matching pictures to each other to pointing out locations on a map - the men did significantly better than the women. And interviews with the men who did best found that they were the ones who travelled the furthest.

A researcher concludes:
'Navigation ability facilitates travelling longer distances and exploring new environments. And the farther you travel, the more likely you are to encounter new mating opportunities . . it looks like men who travel more in the past year also have children from more women - what you would expect if mating was the payoff for travel.'

Details from The Telegraph below . .

  • 14 November 2014
  • NOF

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