A PC Magazine news item (not yet online) gives men the edge in one area of computing:
Are men better at navigating computer screens than women? Scientists at Microsoft Research say yes, but they may have found a way to level the playing field. According to the company’s Visualization and Interaction for Business and Entertainment (VIBE) team, women find it much harder than men to complete tasks in a 3-D virtual environment on a typical computer display.
I’m prepared to ignore the acronym and the fact that this study is done by Microsoft, because I like the results. Men are better than women at something. But then the article just had to go on:
But on a 36-inch display, gender differences vanish. This is due to a phenomenon known as optical flow. “Optical flow refers to the changes in light patterns that are constantly occurring in our field of vision,” says Keven Schofield, a Microsoft Research director. “Women are more sensitive to the inconsistencies in optical flow between a screen and the real world behind it.” Widening the screen corrects the inconsistencies. Microsoft hopes to build optical-flow cues into future interfaces.
Another study that confirms the obvious: women are superior even when they aren’t. Even their weaknesses end up being examples of strengths that men don’t have. I still say we’re better at remote controls, though.