Re: Gender issues and throwing

Dan Fabulich (
Fri, 24 Jan 1997 20:19:48 -0800

Tony Csoka wrote:

> If mathematical ability really is a side-effect of throwing accuracy,
> then there could be a correlation between hitting a moving target (in an
> unpracticed way) and speed at mathematical calculations. At least it's a
> testable hypothesis.

Actually, the connection is somewhat more flexible. At the risk of
grossly oversimplifying, the connection is this: Your ability to think
stems from the neurons in your brain and the connections between them.
As you develop from birth (maybe even from trimester 1) to late
adolescence when growth slows and finally halts, neurons develop with
task-oriented connections. This is one of the reasons that small
children are so interested in spinning objects and water: they're
chaotic systems which your mind slowly begins to conceptualize.
Similarly, your ability to perform complex physical maneuvers stems
from your ability to perceive how bouncing and thrown objects travel,
as well as eye-hand coordination. All comes from the neurons and their

Having a "large brain," with lots of developing neurons for most of your
life, helps you with EVERYTHING mentally oriented: throwing a ball,
conceptualizing complicated 3D objects, or taking integrals later in

> I have noticed that a lot of women seem to have ineficient biomechanical
> arm movements when throwing an object... (unrelated to muscular strength)

Which comes back to this: Boys and girls both have a hard time throwing
if they don't try it a lot when they're little. As very small children
throw objects and watch them fly, certain connections are forged
which help the child to figure out, in real time, how to hold his/her
arm in order to hit the target.

Girls, as you may have noticed, are definitely NOT pushed towards
physical activity as children. Stereotypically, the boy plays little
league baseball while the girl spends time at home with friends. The
stereotypical boy learns competition, eye-hand coordination and 3D
conceptualization, the girl learns cooperation, communication and
intuition. Thus, the stereotypical boy throws better than the
stereotypical girl.

-He who laughs last thinks slowest-