Re: Gender and Cognitive Style

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 21 Nov 1998 13:48:52 -0500

> Damien Broderick wrote:
> > At 12:30 PM 11/20/98 -0500, Mikey wrote:
> >
> > >I would say that since women have a dominant right brain, while men are
> > >dominant left, usually, of course
> >
> > What? *What????* WHAAAAH

One of the place I learned this was in ski instructing. The PSIA programs tell why its easier to teach women to ski than men. Since instinctive eye/foot coordination is a right brained function (as I guess are most functions of coordination, and the right brain does the geometric cognitive finctions as well), and women are dominant right brainers, women more easily develop the skills to ski than men, who wind up overanalyzing everything with their left brains, which bogs up their right hemisphere's ability to oversee the muscular coordination. For a guy to learn to ski, they have to conciously a) stop thinking about it and just do it. Only once they've developed the skill of putting their right brain in charge can they use their left brain to make little suggestions about angulation, pressure, torsion, etc.

I can take any woman who is not mentally retarded or physically impaired and make her a lower intermediate to upper intermediate skiier (depending on their self confidence level) within one hour of putting skis on at the hill. A guy will take at least twice, if not four or five times as long to get to the same point. Some guys never get that far. With skiing, how good a woman gets depends on her self confidence; how good a guy gets depends on how long it takes for him to pull his head out, stop thinking about it, and how well he listens to what his ski instructor actually says. A guy who is plateaued out at a low level is that way because they have dominant personalities which cannot surrender control to anybody or anything.

Mike Lorrey