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Thursday
Dec062007

Why men can’t find things they’re looking for, don’t shop well, and can’t wrap presents…

holiday battle of the sexesYay! Finally, some scientific evidence to show that it's not my fault that I can't find anything in the fridge or cupboard until I ask my wife! This terrific article at the UK's Daily Mail offers scientific explanation for:

- why men can't find anything they're looking for around the house (hint: it has to do with men's primordial hunting skills and biology.)

-why men wait until the last minute to do their holiday shopping (hint: it has to do with men's primordial hunting skills and biology. We go for the kill and then go home.)

- why women are good at wrapping Christmas presents and men aren't (hint: it has to do with men's primordial hunting skills and biology. Our eyes are better suited for long-range tunnel vision, good for sighting prey.)

- why women are better at multitasking than men (hint: it, um... doesn't have to do with hunting)

I'm sure you're mostly wondering why us guys can't find things around our homes when we need them. According to the article (excuse the Britishism "Sellotape"),

"Men sometimes feel that this is a trick and accuse women of always hiding things from them in drawers and cupboards.

At Christmas, the list of things that men 'can't find' is seemingly endless - they can't find the Sellotape, or the scissors, or the ribbon, and, now they think about it, they're not really sure where the presents have got to either.

They're all there, they just can't see them. Men don't just say this to cause a festive feud - there is actually a scientific reason why they can't find things.

As a nest-defender, a woman has brain software that allows her to have an arc of at least 45 degrees clear vision to each side of her head and above and below her nose. This was needed to keep an eye out for potential predators.

A man's eyes are larger than a woman's and his brain configures them for a type of long-distance tunnel vision, which means that he can see clearly and accurately directly in front of him and over greater distances, almost like a pair of binoculars - useful in times gone by for tracking down prey, but not so helpful when it comes to finding things in cupboards.

The female hormone oestrogen also prompts nerve cells to grow more connections in the brain and makes it easier for a woman to identify matching items in a drawer, cupboard or across a room and later remember objects in a complex random pattern - such as where the ribbon is in relation to the Sellotape in the cupboard.

New research suggests that male brains are usually searching for the word to go with an item, so if the tub is facing the wrong way and he cannot read the label, he virtually can't see it.

This is why men move their heads from side to side and up and down as they scan for a 'missing' object."

Now men have a good reason for frustrating their girlfriends and wives by not being able to find things!
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