herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Don't joke about our parking lads ... it's your fault if we're dodgy drivers

"TRying to be a man is a waste of a woman." So says Sarah Jessica Parker's character in the film, I Don't Know How She Does It.

I guess the quote means that men and women are different and there's no point in trying to be the same.

A new book has given credence to the theory, risking accusations of neurosexism (the use of science to reinforce cultural beliefs about gender differences).

In Why Can't A Woman Be More Like A Man?, Lewis Wolpert argues that hard facts support many gender stereotypes.

He says that there are many ingrained myths, for which the evidence is very poor, such as women being less intelligent than men or talking much more than men.

There are also some trivial myths for which the evidence is quite good, such as men being better at map-reading and women poorer at parallel parking.

You may have seen the YouTube clip of a woman trying to parallel park a car that goes on for half an hour.

untrue

It's been viewed 5 million times, is hilarious but does women no favours.

Despite such clips, and Wolpert's book, the idea that women can't park is simply untrue, according to other research.

Surveillance of car parks across Britain by the car park firm NCP has shown that while women may take longer to park, they are more likely to leave their vehicles in the middle of the space.

Here's some more research too. A study at the University of Warwick and the University of Georgia in the US found evidence that self belief was important for a woman's performance in spatial tasks which could favour men.

It suggested that confidence-knocking jokes were likely to reduce a woman's performance behind the wheel.

So no jokes about our driving or parking lads because if we can't, it'll be your fault.

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