Shalom Life | August 21, 2014

Gender Discrepancies Can Be Narrowed

Israeli researchers find the female brain can be modified to bridge gender gaps.

By: Bev Spritzer

Published: October 14th, 2010 in News » Israel

Gender Discrepancies Can Be Narrowed

According to Dr. David Tzuriel, professor of psychology and education at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University , the gap in gender-specific brain functions can be narrowed through educational intervention.

Israeli researchers have found that males are better than females when it comes to spatial capabilities. “Boys are better than girls in spatial abilities and especially in the domain of mental rotation, the ability to rotate some visual aspect in your mind and visualize how it will look when rotated,” said Tzuriel.

“Mental rotation has been found to be related to many skills in which males perform better than females,” he continued. “That's why there are so many males in exact sciences like architecture, physics and chemistry, theoretically because they require these spatial abilities.”

According to researchers, differences in the brains of boys and girls become evident from infancy.

Tzuriel and doctoral student Gila Egozi learned from preliminary findings that females apparently find it more difficult to gain control over spatial tasks, especially those involving mental rotation.

According to Tzuriel and Egozi, girls are genetically programmed to apprehend details in what Tzuriel refers to as a “local” way, while males have a more “global” perspective. This may contribute to the controversial perception that males are better drivers.

“But that doesn't mean it's not possible for females to develop their skills and become equal to males in a particular domain,” Tzuriel told Israel 21c. “What is needed is a way to look at information in a holistic way rather than details. That makes it easier to control the data and manipulate the visual stimuli.”

But that which is considered genetic, according to studies, can, in fact, be modified.

The researchers ran an interventional study on more than 100 randomly selected Israeli first-grade boys and girls to arrive at this end.

“When tested before and after, we found that the girls in the experimental group who had started at a lower level had closed the gap afterwards,” explained Tzuriel. “At the end of the program they performed as well as the boys, meaning they made more progress than the boys did.”

While the research doesn't yet prove that the training leads to better achievement in science, math and engineering for girls, according to Tzuriel, it is a promising first step - at least in the face of gender-related stereotypes.

Tzuriel is the editor of the Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology, and is a professor at Bar-Ilan, where he used to chair the School of Education.

He is regarded as a world leader in the field of dynamic assessment of learning potential, used widely in England, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and North America.

The Love Jewce: In Love & Birthright The Love Jewce: In Love & Birthright TrendingMissing American IDF Soldier Found Dead Missing American IDF Soldier Found Dead TrendingHolocaust Survivor Arrested in Ferguson Protests Holocaust Survivor Arrested in Ferguson Protests Trending
 

Jewish Hall of Fame: Paul Allen

August 20, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Jewish Hall of Fame: Paul Allen

The co-founder of Microsoft, Allen also founded Vulcan Inc., and currently owns two major sports teams

Read More

Israeli-Arab Appointed as Apple's VP of Hardware Technologies

August 20, 2014 | By Sagi Cohen
Israeli-Arab Appointed as Apple's VP of Hardware Technologies

Johnny Srouji is a Haifa native who studied at the Technion Institute

Read More

Pope Francis Predicts His Own Death in 2-3 Years

August 20, 2014 | By Peter Herriman
Pope Francis Predicts His Own Death in 2-3 Years

"Two or three years and then I'll be off to the Father's House"

Read More

My War Story: A New Torah for Sderot

August 20, 2014 | By Nachum Segal
My War Story: A New Torah for Sderot

As the war slips into its second stage, Jews around the world share inspiring stories, anecdotes of extreme charity and unprecedented displays of brotherhood. Here's mine

Read More

Mayim Bialik Wants You To “Express Your Selfie”

August 20, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Mayim Bialik Wants You To “Express Your Selfie”

The 'Big Bang Theory' actress and Texas Instruments are encouraging teachers and students to submit photos of themselves with their favorite TI technology.

Read More

Nicki Minaj Gives Drake a Lap Dance In ‘Anaconda’ [VIDEO]

August 20, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Nicki Minaj Gives Drake a Lap Dance In ‘Anaconda’ [VIDEO]

Drake is the only man to make an appearance in the sex-fueled rap video

Read More

New York Gives $10 Million to Man Wrongly Accused of Murdering Rabbi

August 20, 2014 | By Peter Herriman
New York Gives $10 Million to Man Wrongly Accused of Murdering Rabbi

Jabbar Collins was wrongly accused of the 1994 murder of Rabbi Abraham Pollack

Read More

‘Masters of Sex’ Renewed For Third Season

August 20, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
‘Masters of Sex’ Renewed For Third Season

Showtime has also given the green light to another season of Liev Schreiber's 'Ray Donovan'

Read More

More Headlines