Sometimes the results of allegedly scientific studies end up sounding about as valid and relevant as web-based personality quizzes.
For example, Ethan points to a CNN article explaining that "sleeping position reveals personality."
Meanwhile, according to the BBC, "women may be less prone to 'geekiness' because of their genes"; a British study suggests that "genes on the X chromosome [may be] important for the development of social skills." The researcher attempts to explain this with one of those sociobiological post hoc rationalizations that so infuriate me:
It makes sense for women, who have to give birth, to have evolved so that the development of their social aptitude is well protected from accidents of inheritance or environment.
Their survival, and that of their babies, is particularly dependent on reading social situations accurately.
Perhaps I'm overreacting to this particular comment because the general class of this type of comments annoys me so much, but grr.
The study's actual data does sound interesting, though:
Many women with Turner's Syndrome ["a female genetic condition caused by a missing or defective X-chromosome"] have difficulties in social interactions, and find it hard to read body language.
And they're tying that to the fact that "[a]utism and autism-like conditions such as Asperger's syndrome are far more prevalent in men than women but it is not clear why."
The article does, at the end, quote David Potter of the National Autistic Society as noting that although the connection seems plausible, "it's not going to explain all cases of autism."
I certainly think it's interesting to note that there are more men than women who are really bad at social cognition; I just wish it could be reported in a way that doesn't reinforce the standard essentialist stereotypes and then try to explain them as foreordained outcomes of evolution.