Handbook of Behavioral and Cognitive Geography
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Handbook of Behavioral and Cognitive Geography

Edited by Daniel R. Montello

This comprehensive Handbook summarizes existing work and presents new concepts and empirical results from leading scholars in the multidisciplinary field of behavioral and cognitive geography, the study of the human mind, and activity in and concerning space, place, and environment. It provides the broadest and most inclusive coverage of the field so far, including work relevant to human geography, cartography, and geographic information science.
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Chapter 14: Sex and gender in geographic behavior and cognition

Carol A. Lawton


Girls and women are underrepresented in geography, both as an academic discipline and as a profession. The findings reviewed in this chapter suggest that males and females differ with respect to several aspects of geographic cognition and behavior. Males tend to be more accurate in identifying place locations on maps, and to perform better on mapping tasks that require spatial transformations and on navigational tasks that require attention to geometric environmental cues. A greater interest in geography in males and the stereotyping of geographic abilities as masculine may lead males more than females to attend to geographic information and to engage in activities in which geographic skills can be practiced and improved. Evidence also suggests a possible association between prenatal sex steroids and geographic cognition in the context of wayfinding. The chapter concludes with suggestions for ways to increase the interest of girls and women in geography.

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