A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Position-Finding
From: Gary LaPook
Date: 2016 Nov 17, 14:51 -0800
I posted this back in April:
At the risk of appearing politically incorrect let me put out some observations and a theory. Humans for most of their existence were "hunter-gatherers" agriculture has only existed for about ten thousand years, a mere blink of an eye on the evolutionary time scale. I believe that it was, and still is, in those kinds of cultures, common for there to be distinct activities assigned to the two different genders. The males, who are commonly stronger and bigger than the females, were predominately the "hunters" while the females were the "gatherers." (Don't assume that I am denigrating the female contribution to the survival of the society, I am sure that in many cases that it was the "gatherers" that supplied the bulk of the food to keep the family or tribe alive.) These roles are very different and might have caused two different navigation methods to evolve, one in male minds and a different one in female minds. Listen to the way directions are given. A male might say "go east for about a mile then south for two miles to find the herd." A female might say " follow this trail until you see the big tree, turn right and look for the yellow flowers, turn right and you will find the berry bushes that I saw yesterday." Each is an effective way to give directions but each is based on a different way of organizing spatial information. For the female it makes sense to follow the same path out to the berry bushes and then to follow the same path back to the village, the berry bushes do not move. . For a hunter this would not be efficient. If a hunter went east out of the village for a mile, spotted a deer that he chased first to the south and then to the south west and then north west before finally killing it. It would be inefficient for him to retrace his steps while carrying the heavy deer on his back. It would make much more sense for him to figure out the correct direction to travel from the kill site directly back to his village, saving much walking and expenditure of energy I think your see these distinctly different way of dealing with direction today when you examine the way males and females give directions.
Just and observation.
Also see what Frank wrote back then: