Episode 183: Battle of the Sexes

Air Date: April 22, 2012

Men are better overall drivers, but break the speed limit more often.

confirmed (first half) / busted (second half)

Adam and Jamie had volunteers drive a police vehicle course, accompanied by a professional instructor who graded them on a 100-point scale. The volunteers did not speak and wore special clothing to disguise their genders. The men earned an average score of 79 while the women’s average was 71. In addition, only 7 of the men broke the speed limit, while 9 of the women did.

Women are better at reading people’s emotions based on their eyes.

confirmed

Adam, Jamie, and the Build Team had their pictures taken while showing expressions for five different emotions. Jamie’s pictures were not used because his expression did not change noticeably from one picture to the next. The eyes of the other pictures were displayed to the volunteers, who had to guess the emotions. The women responded more quickly than the men and achieved a higher average number of correct responses (10.6 vs. 9.6).

Men are better at cooking on an outdoor grill.

busted

Adam and Jamie set up four outdoor grilling stations and split the volunteers into groups of four to cook at the same time. Provided with the same ingredients, each had one hour to cook the same four dishes—vegetables, a chicken drumstick, a hamburger, and a steak. Adam, Jamie, and a professional judge evaluated the food on a 100-point scale without knowing the cooks’ genders. Average scores were 46 for the men and 42 for the women; Adam and Jamie decided that the difference was not large enough to declare that either gender was better at grilling.

Men are better at following maps.

busted

The Build Team selected the start and end points for a highway drive and marked them on a map. Each volunteer studied the map for five minutes, then rode along to give directions to the destination as Grant drove. Kari and Tory, in the back seat, graded the performances on a 100-point scale and penalized for mistakes such as backtracking and excess mileage. The men and women earned averages of 74 and 77, respectively, too close to indicate an advantage for either gender.

Men are better at packing a car for a road trip.

confirmed

Adam and Jamie brought in two similar cars, put together a load of luggage that would fit into either of them. The load contained a combination of bulky and fragile items, as well as a doll to stand in for a baby. Pairs of volunteers had 15 minutes to pack separate cars, after which Adam drove them through a course while Jamie and Kari evaluated the overall quality of the packing jobs on a 100-point scale. The average score for the men was 51, while the women scored 45, with the men being able to pack the cars slightly faster, suggesting slightly better performance for the men.

2 Comments

  1. s45k says:

    LOVE YOU MYTHBUSTERS ELLA

  2. FritzMills3 says:

    The question isn’t whether men or women are better at following maps. The question is which sex is more willing to acknowledge they’re lost and ask directions.

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