Men confirmed to have better sense of direction than women: study

I guess that's why he's in charge of the map. (Thinkstock)
I guess that's why he's in charge of the map. (Thinkstock)

Men have a better sense of direction than women.

If you’re a woman reading this, that statement may really grind your gears, or it may give you peace of mind knowing that it’s okay to get lost sometimes, depending on how good you are with directions. Either way, don’t take offense to it ladies, because a new research study conducted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Carl Pintzka shows men do indeed have a better sense of direction than women.

As it turns out, a male’s superior sense of direction may have to do with the sex hormone testosterone. Pintzka figured this out by placing men and women in separate groups and asking them to navigate through a three-dimensional virtual maze using a joystick. The results showed that men were not only able to get to designated checkpoints within the maze faster, but they also used a different approach to do so. While women were inclined to use a self-designated route to try to get to their destination, men used cardinal directions (North, South, East, and West) to figure out the best route as they went along.

The results of the study were confirmed by taking a separate group of 42 women and giving 21 of them a drop of testosterone on the tongue before taking the test, while the remaining 21 women received a placebo drop on the tongue. The testosterone-aided women did not necessarily complete more tasks than the control group, but they were significantly more efficient at using the North, South, East, West approach.

Although the study does give men something to gloat about, it’s actually a part of a much more serious mission. Pintzka hopes the results can be used to understand the role that sex hormones play in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Women are two times more likely to be diagnosed with the disease than men.

As for those who find themselves to be directionally challenged regardless of their gender, just thank your lucky stars three men named Roger Easton, Ivan Getting and Bradford Parkinson once worked together to build the Global Positioning System.