Judy Mandelbaum

Judy Mandelbaum
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June 01
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Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 31, 2012 7:02AM

So women can park after all?

Rate: 7 Flag

Parking

People can never get enough of the endless debate over the alleged innate differences between men and women, probably because there’s so little really hard data on the subject (I already wrote about this topic here). Now a new study from England, conducted under actual field conditions, proves that one of the most popular canards, namely that women don’t know how to park cars, is not only untrue but actually hides a much more interesting story.

As reported in The Telegraph over the weekend, the British parking lot company NCP hired a team of researchers with hidden cameras to examine the parking habits of 2,500 drivers at 700 parking lots and ramps nationwide over the course of one month. Based on their observations, they developed a “parking quotient” to analyze the finesse of both sexes.

The results in a nutshell: Women take time with their parking, carefully identifying and selecting potential parking slots before they gently ease their cars into them, maneuvering until they find the most mutually satisfactory fit. Men, on the other hand, prefer a quick in-and-out approach (now where have I heard that complaint before?).

A fundamentally different relationship to one’s environment and the individuals within it was a key difference turned up in the study. It first

analysed people’s ability to find spaces. Researchers found that impatience caused many men to drive too quickly around car parks, meaning they missed free bays. Meanwhile, women’s slower approach meant they were better able to notice spaces, or spot when other drivers were about to leave.

It also found that 39% of women excelled at rear parking, whereas only 28% of men could claim expertise in this art. What’s more,

Men were much quicker at parking, taking 16 seconds on average against the 21 seconds women needed to complete the manoeuvre. However, the extra time paid off leaving 52 per cent of women parked in the middle of each bay, compared to 25 per cent of men. This category proved particularly punishing for the men’s rating as it was the most heavily weighted in the coefficient.

Strangely, though, only 18% of women thought they parked better than men. Maybe it’s the product of all those books out there about why women “can’t” do it?

It really depends on the data you look at, of course. Last September the Daily Mail published a study of British driving test results, saying that women are far more likely to fail the parking section of the exam than men. As always with this kind of research, we all have to weigh the evidence and then head out the door and do our best, the scientists be damned.

The designer of the new study, driving teacher Neil Beeson, told the Telegraph:

In my experience men have always been the best learners and usually performed better in lessons. However, it’s possible that women have retained the information better. The results also appear to dispel the myth that men have better spatial awareness than women. It shows that us men need to give our partners more respect when it comes to parking. The facts don’t lie.

So is he saying that men and women really can learn something from one another? Who woulda thunk it?

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Comments

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You wonder ... "Who'd have thunk it?"

Ya caused me to recall when I was 16.
I flunked my driver's test three times.
I went through one red light one time.
I flunked that parking test two times.
`
Never tell class mates you can't park.
`
at sixteen, certain
no person has ever felt
that level of pain
`
Remember to signal all turns
Drive with Parking break on
Open Salon needs a deli shop
`
christening
the new delicatessen
`Turn For Wurst'
`
Men pass open spots so as to find one as near to the building as they can. We are often carrying heavier items when we come out.

And have you ever been behind a woman driver in a parking lot? They'll stop dead and wait for someone to unload their shopping cart, get into their car, and leave. But do they leave that person room to back out? I don't even need to answer that one, now do It?

Men don't park in the middle of the space because they want plenty of room on the driver's side to open their car door without hitting the one beside them. Women will happily give the next car a good whack and then blame the other driver for parking "too close to them."

Somebody should teach them folks how to do a REAL survey! AND to drive!
.
Skypixieo,
Well, I never claimed this would be the end of the debate. Let the feathers fly, everyone!
Yes, it will take a lot more than another study to put this one to rest! Too much fun for everybody, I guess.

Rated.
The parking lot in front of my store proves that, even if women are better, nobody's very good. And those lines are merely suggestions.
Maybe, but I'll believe it when I see it!
Lots'a fun indeed! I jes' lubs baltimore aureoles who can cherry pick a few male habits. When was the last time a man ran into the car in front of him because he was putting on make-up? Or checking his hair in the rear-view mirror? Or looking at the person beside him, while yakking a mile a minute? Or all three at the same time?! (They call it multi-tasking)
;-)
.
:o) Yes, for every step we take forward, we seem to go two backward.
R♥
I think the theory that women are not as good of drivers as men goes back to a time when all things mechanical were attributed to being done better by a man........

Needless to say women today have managed to pretty much dispel this theory and prove that we truly are superior beings!!!

BTW I can not only park, but parallel park as well, when I moved 20 years ago, you had to take another driving test to get a new lic. in that state - as soon as I parallel parked the testor told me to take them back and didn't continue the rest of the test. I thought I had flunked for some odd reason and finally asked what I had done wrong......

Nothing........anyone who can parallel park can most certainly drive I was told.....so I have always made sure that both my children (male and female) learned to do so, even if there are few spots that require the skill today.

Winnie The Pooh Quotes - "If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear."
Yes we. We are also better at finding spaces..LOL
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