The primary purpose of the experiments presented in this report was to study systematically the geographic site-name, associative memory of male and female college students (predominantly White and middle class) for locations that varied in distance: local, national, and international sites. In the first experiment, participants were to match listed names of campus buildings and local cities with their marked locations on maps. In the second experiment, under a site-name memory, a site-name/map-aid memory, and a map-aid/name-aid memory (site-name associative memory) condition, participants were to recall or match as many of the 50 US states and the 25 largest US cities as they could. In the third experiment, the participants were to match a listed grouping of the world’s largest bodies of water and continents, a set of countries, and the world’s largest cities, with their marked locations on maps. In the first experiment, men matched significantly more local cities than did women; in the second experiment, men recalled significantly more of the cities under the site-name/map-aid and the map-aid/name-aid memory conditions than did women; and in the third experiment, men matched significantly more sites on all three maps than did women. The absence of gender differences for campus buildings and states may have been a product of the participants having had extensive opportunities to learn these sites. That men displayed greater knowledge of cities and international sites suggests that they have a greater interest in geography than do women. Because of the limitations of the methodology used, the gender differences favoring men could not be interpreted as primarily a product of nature or of nurture, and thus it was concluded that they were a joint product of nature and nurture.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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