A new study reports that women are better multitaskers than their male counterparts. Does that make for better parenting, too?
As much as we pretend to be above male-female stereotypes (insert raised toilet seat joke here), sometimes the convention rings true. According to a recent study that tested which sex fared better at multitasking, women proved to be more proficient overall. But does that make us better parents? Professor Keith Law at the University of Hertfordshire, a business college located in east England, used members of the undergraduate class as test subjects. Fifty men squared off against 50 women to conduct simple tasks (solve basic math problems, answer the phone) while strategizing how they'd find an imaginary key that had been lost in a field. The study drew a conclusion he wasn't expecting.
"The search for the lost key task, which involved giving the men and women a blank sheet of paper representing a field and asking them to draw how they would search for the key, revealed that women planned more strategically than men," Law said in an online article from Science Daily titled, "First Concrete Evidence That Women Are Better Multitaskers than Men." "I was surprised by this result, given the arguments that men have better spatial skills than women."
So what are the real-world implications of awesome multitasking talent? Considering child-rearing demands the ability to do 50 things at once (51 if you count staying sane), we could conclude that Wonder Woman would be a more skilled stay-at-home parent than Superman. Talk about a battle of the sexes!
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However, there isn't a clear winner when it comes to which gender is inclined to be more gifted at driving while reading a map. To both sexes: Save yourself the headache and give in to the inevitable-you're either lost (ladies) or "turned around" (guys) so just pull over already and ask for directions.