Women can’t handle jerky environments?

I’m not making this one up: according to a research team at Carnegie-Mellon University women have a harder time with the spatial navigation required to successfully manage a desktop environment. Microsoft found similar results, when they reported that “Microsoft has found that women tend to be about 20 per cent slower than men when working out where they are in a computer-generated world.”

All of this is from New Scientist and it’s sure to stir up some controversy…

A few more choice excerpts:

“Women were just as good as men at virtual navigation when they had a large computer display. “The gender difference simply disappeared,” says Czerwinski. A standard monitor gives a viewing angle of about 35�. With a larger screen, giving a viewing angle of 70�, women navigated better. And with two screens delivering a 100� angle, women matched men’s spatial abilities.”

“Women only matched men when the 3D virtual environment moved smoothly as they progressed through it. “You have to generate each image frame so the optical flow simulates accurately the experience of walking down, say, a hallway,” says Robertson. Women, they found, find it easier to get their bearings when this animation is smooth and realistic, rather than jerky.”

So that’s not me, that’s the research scientists who are saying men can do fine in jerky environments, while women need something smooth and realistic. Uh huh.

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