Tuesday, June 13, 2006

In Brief: Gender Differences on Detecting Anger, Eating Veggies & Guess Who Scratches More?

Recent news shows interesting differences between the sexes. Compared to men, women are more likely to enjoy veggies; men have developed a better sense for detecting angry people; and there really are gender differences in amounts of scratching.

Food preferences a matter of sex, nature & nurture
According to
a recent feature at BBC News, a Cancer Research UK study "found girls were more likely to enjoy vegetables than boys." Reasons for the difference were not given. However, the very interesting article also pointed out that a taste for mean, fish and other "high-protein food" is genetic, while preferences for fruits and vegetables are largely taught. So for you parents out there, get the kids hooked on broccoli early.

Quick, which one of these people is pissed?
Apparently, men and women differ in their ability to pick out faces that convey certain types of emotions,
reports the NY Times. Men are good at picking out angry faces; women are skilled at finding "expressions that communicate happiness, sadness, surprise and disgust," read the Times article. These findings are in line with "sexual selection theory." According to this theory, the Times reports, "anger in the male face would be detected rapidly by other males to whom such cues might have had very real survival consequences."

And the scratching title goes to …
Discover.com is
reporting on a news study that found gender differences in "itch-induced scratching." As it turns out, "females scratched themselves 23 percent more often than males did." Also in the article, it's revealed that women are more sensitive than men-- at least physically. In the Discovery piece, they explain that, "women have, on average, 34 nerve fibers per square centimeter of facial skin while men only possess around 17 nerve fibers over the same area."


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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.