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Dev Psychol. 1999 Jul;35(4):940-9.

Early sex differences in spatial skill.

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Department of Psychology, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


This study investigated sex differences in young children's spatial skill. The authors developed a spatial transformation task, which showed a substantial male advantage by age 4 years 6 months. The size of this advantage was no more robust for rotation items than for translation items. This finding contrasts with studies of older children and adults, which report that sex differences are largest on mental rotation tasks. Comparable performance of boys and girls on a vocabulary task indicated that the male advantage on the spatial task was not attributable to an overall intellectual advantage of boys in the sample.

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