There may be more male geeks than women because women don’t have the genetic programming for “geekiness.” Women are programmed to be more adept in social situations because genes on the female X chromosome seem to give them better social skills. Men have only a single X chromosome, while women have two.
“Having two X chromosomes may be protective against whatever predisposes someone to not being able to make sense of the social world,” says Dr. Ruth Campbell. “It makes sense for women (because)?their survival, and that of their babies, is particularly dependent on reading social situations accurately.”
A study of women with Turner’s Syndrome, a female genetic condition caused by a missing or defective X-chromosome, shows that women with Turner?s have difficulty with social interactions and find it hard to read body language, despite having normal intelligence. These women were shown pictures of two faces, one looking directly forward and the other with a slightly averted gaze. The researchers found that women with Turner’s Syndrome couldn?t tell if they were being looked at directly.
Campbell says men aren?t necessarily bad at social interaction, but if you isolate a group of people who are socially inadequate, you?re more likely to find men there than women. Autism and autism-like conditions such as Asperger’s syndrome are far more common in men, but scientists don?t know why. David Potter of the National Autistic Society thinks it could be because of their lack of a 2nd X chromosome. He says, “It’s another small piece of the jigsaw but it’s not going to explain all cases of autism.”
Geeks, note this: Scientists studying people who go to clubs and discos have discovered you get up to 400% more attention if you take off your glasses.
London psychologists told 38 volunteers, aged 18 to 26, to try to pick up a member of the opposite sex at a London bar. The male and female volunteers were split into three groups. One group was told to wear their glasses, the second to change from contact lenses to glasses and the third to change from glasses to contact lenses. “Changing methods of eyesight correction proved to have a far-reaching effect on the volunteers’ feelings of self-confidence?85% of those that had switched to contact lenses reported increased self-confidence,” says Dr. June McNicholas. “By comparison, not one of those that had switched to glasses said the same. On the contrary, 75% of them complained of feeling less confident?80% of those who wore glasses on the night felt less able to attract a mate.” But McNicholas says, ?In other contests, such as a job interview, glasses are an advantage.”
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