ERIC Number: ED201963
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Sex Differences in Performance on Spatial Tasks: Biopsychosocial Influences.
Petersen, Anne C.
As part of an ongoing study of sex differences in spatial ability, three preliminary hypotheses on parental socialization, sex role socialization, and biological explanations were tested, using 139 high school seniors as subjects. The early findings indicated that there was no support for the hypothesis that boys and girls differ in how they view their involvement with their parents, though some parent behaviors, particularly those involving support and warmth in the parent-child relationship, were related to higher spatial performance. In addition, there was no support for the hypothesis that adolescents who reported preferring sex-typed activities and interests also were sex-typed in their performance of spatial tasks. Both boys and girls reported preferring sex-appropriate sex-typed activities and interests, but this overwhelming sex difference was unrelated to spatial ability. The final hypothesis tested--that timing of maturation exerted influence on spatial ability--was confirmed. Analyses indicated that higher spatial ability was related to later maturation. An incidental result of this preliminary research was the observation that volunteer samples for such research in spatial ability may be biased, since low ability males tended to drop out more frequently from such studies than did low ability females. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Orton Society, Inc. (31st, Boston, MA, November 11-15, 1980). Not available in paper copy due to marginal legibility of original document. Sponsored under a grant from the Spencer Foundation.