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#1
Courtesy of Sky News

Women who run for cover when coming face-to-face with a spider have been offered a new explanation for their phobia: it is in their genes.

Research at a US university found females associate the eight-legged critters with fear more than males, most of whom react with indifference.

Psychologist Dr David Rakison from Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University tested 10 girls and 10 boys, all aged 11-months, with pictures of spiders to see how they reacted.

He showed them images of a spider next to a fearful cartoon face and a spider next to a happy face.

Dr Rakison's report, published in the New Scientist, states that the girls looked at the picture containing a happy face for longer than the scared one.

However, the boys looked at both images for an equal amount of time.

He concluded that the girls found the happy face puzzling as they were expecting to see the spider paired with a frightened face.

The psychologist said these tests show that girls have a genetic predispostion to fear the arachnids in contrast with boys who do not.

"The experiments show that female 11-month-olds - but not males of the same age - learn the relation between a negative facial expression and fear-relevant stimuli such as snakes and spiders," Dr Rakison reported in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

He linked the difference in results to our hunter-gatherer ancestry when he says women had to be wary of dangerous animals to protect their children, whereas men used more risky behaviour in order to be successful hunters.

Past surveys have shown that almost 6% of the population have a phobia of snakes and around 4% are scared of spiders.

However, women are around four times more likely to be affected than men.

Men now have no excuse but to help a woman in need when next summoned to remove an unwelcome visitor from the bath.


tl;dr women are genetically afraid of spiders, men aren't

BS or Plausible?
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#3
Someone was on the Yahoo page. Also spiders are werid so maybe.
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#4
Plausible, but hardly scientific. They might've gotten conditioning before the experiments.
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#5
Well, that's clearly not true. I'm terrified of spiders, and I know a lot of other guys who are.
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#8
Quote by rabidguitarist
Well, that's clearly not true. I'm terrified of spiders, and I know a lot of other guys who are.

As far as you know.....


the plot thickens
#9
It seems pretty stupid but will now be used as ammunition against one of my mates, who is already subject to near-constant abuse for various things. Now he is also a woman.
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#11
I hate spiders too.
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#12
Yeah terrified of spiders, I've seen one in my room a couple times that's a little smaller than my hand, & I have nearly the biggest hands from my friends (we like to measure weird things ) I've slept downstairs twice because of it! >_>
#14
i took a stats course last year and one of the subjects covered explained how these experiments work. its not saying that EVERY boy tested was indifferent and EVERY girl was afraid of it. it compares the average reaction between the genders, and based on the result, more than likely had an acceptable p-value to provide evidence for their conclusion. i think its very plausible, although they definitely shouldve used a larger sample size for more accurate results.
#15
Quote by Skaliveson
BS its a conditioning thing... girls are basically TRAINED to be afraid of them.

thats what i was thinking, not just girls either...my sister keeps telling her son not to go the wardrobe or the spiders will get him...she's making him petrified of them.....i personally like spiders
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#16
Quote by Skaliveson
BS its a conditioning thing... girls are basically TRAINED to be afraid of them.

This.

You would have to do this test on newborns for it to actually have any real merit. By the time you're 10, you've already seen your dad kill spiders for your mom.
#17
im scared of spiders, unless the girlfriend is here then when she screams i suddenly can pick em up and throw em out the window ... weird
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#18
Quote by GangsterLi
im scared of spiders, unless the girlfriend is here then when she screams i suddenly can pick em up and throw em out the window ... weird

It's not weird, it's simple natural science.

A man can summon up superhuman physical strength and mental courage if it will get him sex.
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#20
When I was on the forums the title said 'Why are women afraid of my...'. I was expecting a different question
#21
I finally have the opportunity to use a Frankie Boyle quote.

In other words, Scientists have a lot of time on their hands.

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#22
I dont know what scares me more. Spiders, or the fact that that means im a girl
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#23
I hate the idea of touching a spider. Give me a spatula or something and i'll beat the **** out of one, but I couldn't touch one. It'd creep me out far too much. And i'm a guy.
#24
Quote by aaciseric
I hate the idea of touching a spider. Give me a spatula or something and i'll beat the **** out of one, but I couldn't touch one. It'd creep me out far too much. And i'm a guy.

Same for me.

"Dr Rakison's report, published in the New Scientist, states that the girls looked at the picture containing a happy face for longer than the scared one.

However, the boys looked at both images for an equal amount of time.

He concluded that the girls found the happy face puzzling as they were expecting to see the spider paired with a frightened face."

This sounds like BS to me.
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#26
I call bull**** as well.
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#27
Im a girl and i HATE spiders so i guess i fit into that stereotype....i like spiderman though
#28
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All of them?
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#29
it's a load of BSbecause of the happy face thing. you might as well have put a spider next to an icecream and a heap of mud. what are the girls going to look at? icecream coz they like it. boys will look at both because they like both. small boys tend to like scary things eg dinosaurs and so will happily look at an both faces, whereas small girls like nice things so look at the smiley face and not the angry face. the spider is completely irrelevant. they should have followed it with the same test with chocolate instead of spiders, i bet they would have got the same result.
#30
I know a lot of guys who're scared of spiders. Apparently you subconsciously fear them because of the way they move; they're the only animal that's knees are above their bodies as they move.
wen i ask they say that they fall into the habit smhw ........but nyways i think there is a connection smwhere. Now i being a teetollar will not give into this habit nyhw

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#31
I hate spiders. We have a lot of those big fuzzy striped ones around here...those are the worst. It's like they're having seizures as they're moving.
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#32
Lots of people are afraid of my avatar.
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#33
Maybe...me and most guys I know are pretty unfased by bugs, yet many of my female friends are.

I do think the way they tried to prove it is pretty terrible. I mean, timing how long someone looks at a picture then assuming why (since they can't prove anything with children this young) doesn't seem very scientific...
#34
I don't think the whole hunter-gatherer theory holds up at all...I mean, look at childhood toys. Girls play with dolls, and boys play with weird looking action figures and bugs and stuff.

It's more the culture now affecting each gender than some genetic predisposition.
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#35
Quote by magnus_maximus
The ones who come out with redundant shit like this, yes.

Somewhere there's got to be a labfull of the crappest scientists ever, just producing rubbish like this so news stations have got some material on the slow days.
#36
Quote by rabidguitarist
It's not weird, it's simple natural science.

A man can summon up superhuman physical strength and mental courage if it will get him sex.


Does it really require super human physical strength to get rid of a spider?

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#39
Quote by Inimical
This.

You would have to do this test on newborns for it to actually have any real merit. By the time you're 10, you've already seen your dad kill spiders for your mom.



try reading it next time. they picked 10 boys and 10 girls all aged 11 months
#40
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tl;dr women are dumb

fixed


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