Sexual orientation, linked to sexual preferenceThe difference between men and women is not just physical. Inner differences translate into brain particularities and that shot of estrogen or testosterone during embryo development that makes a man or a woman heterosexual or homosexual does count.
The brain differences are reflected in behavioral differences.
A team at the University of Warwick has discovered that sexual orientation is really linked to how we navigate in our environment by using, for example, a map in a car but that sex related navigational abilities are lost at similar pace by men and women alike.
The research team helped by BBC gathered the data from over 198,000 people aged 20-65 years (109,612 men and 88,509 women) subjected to abstract tests, assessing the skills that one would employ in real life to navigate with a map.
Indeed, men were better than women on tests like mentally rotating objects while women bypassed men in verbal dexterity tests, and remembering the placement of objects.
For many tasks, the researchers detected key differences across the investigated range of sexual orientations. In the case of mental rotation, the table of best performance to worst looked like that:
1. Heterosexual men
2. Bisexual men
3. Homosexual men
4. Homosexual women
5. Bisexual women
6. Heterosexual women
In the overall array of tested tasks, where a task was gender-related (which gender performed it better), heterosexual individuals always outperformed non-heterosexual individuals, and bisexual individuals of a gender always performed better than homosexual individuals.
The researchers also found that with age, sexual orientation and other sex-related abilities decreased at the same rate in both men and women.
But overall, mental abilities drop with age more severely in men than in women: in other words, men are more prone to senile dementia and the age-related decline is much steeper than in women, no matter the sexual orientation.