Sex differences in direction giving: Are boys better than girls?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research has extensively documented sex differences favoring boys in various domains of spatial cognition. However, relatively little research has examined sex differences in children's direction giving. The current study aimed to bridge this gap. A total of 143 children aged 3 to 10 years were asked to describe and recall routes from survey perspectives (via maps) and route perspectives (via videos). Significant sex effects (favoring boys) in direction-giving accuracy were found in describing route trials. However, boys and girls did not differ in the frequency of utterances encoding landmarks and direction of turns, suggesting that the quality rather than the quantity of words played a more important role in explaining sex differences. In addition, there was no sex difference in the route recall task. Although accuracy was overall higher in the map condition than in the video condition, it did not moderate sex differences. Overall, our study showed a robust sex difference in direction giving, which has important theoretical implications for understanding the development of human sex differences and critical clinical implications for designing training programs to improve children's spatial cognition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105958
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
StatePublished - Aug 2024


  • Accuracy
  • Direction giving
  • Landmarks
  • Maps
  • Sex
  • Videos


Dive into the research topics of 'Sex differences in direction giving: Are boys better than girls?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this