driving and the Y chromosome

Why do males typically take to driving and love it? This starts at a young age. You don’t see girls (maybe the Voice) pretending they are driving or racing cars or buses or whatever. Is it genetic?

It’s all conditioning. Most of the ads for toy cars show little boys playing with them. Most race car drivers are men. Most ads for cars at aimed at men. And so on.

Some individuals are able to shake this conditioning and do what they like. My wife is the fast driver in the family. The only reason I have a car is because I don’t want to walk to work. I couldn’t care less about cars.

I guess there are exceptions to every generalization. My son has had the full driver training experience, at considerable cost, but refuses to drive, even at the age of 23. My daughter, even though she did not make engine noises on her trike, had her drivers licence within a week of her legal age (and had her first and only serious accident a week later). Perhaps it is just the engine sounds that boys make when riding their trikes etc. that is inherited.

I don’t know about only boys making the engine sounds.

My daughter is 2 and she makes engine sounds when she drives her toy cars (both the ones she rides in and the ones she pushes).

I think it is indeed conditioning. My wife and I, however, seek to give her access to cars as well as dolls.

I want her to be able to do whatever it is she wants to do.

From Darma and Greg:

Darma is going to park a Ferrari (sp?) and Greg says that he should park it because she does not know how to drive such a car.

Darma: Have you ever driven a Ferrari?
Greg: Well no.
Darma: Then why should you get to park it?
Greg: I am guessing that because I am a guy is not a good enough reason.
Darma: Not unless you have to shift the gears with your penis.

My daughter is gonna be a driver.


I’m not sure it’s all conditioning. My parents did their darnedest to raise me in a gender-neutral environment (those old hippies!). I had as many barbies as toy trucks, and we didn’t have a TV for external influence. I still ended up with the trucks and the he-men more often than the barbies, (although I didn’t give up the dolls completely until Kindergarten taught me the penalties for cross-gender play. Brutal.)

Okay, so one example isn’t convicing, but I’ve heard that studies have generally shown[1] that most boys tend toward “boy toys” and girls to “girl toys” in the absence of cultural influence.


[1] I wish I had a reference for this footnote. :frowning:

There are two occasionally running discussions on misc.transport.roads that touch on this. One is why there aren’t many women posting on m.t.r, and the other is how men and women view the roadway system (with the usual assertions that men see it as an ordered system, and women who are fond of highways are so because of the romanticism and, perhaps, even the eroticism of the roads).

Quite interesting, and possibly illuminating toward the OP here…


It’s because men take greater delight in our immaturities, and the road is a arena for this. (Maybe I’m biased by living in Boston).

There’s a special issue of Scientific American called “Men” on the stands right now, and it has an article on sex differences in behavior and brain structure in children - even very young kids. Boys DO choose guns and trucks more, even in controlled environments. Give it a peek.

This is a real question? Being behind the wheel is not gender based, it’s personality based. In general, Females used to be taught to be whimpy about driving or anything else. Actually, when cars first came out women weren’t even supposed to be able to drive, because they weren’t capable! I have (everybody has) been with good and bad drivers of both sexes. Don’t deny it.

I disagree with the statement that driving, toy trucks, making engine noises, and the like are basically male things to do. I am a female and when I was a kid I made engine noises with the best of them. I consider myself in most ways just like all the rest of the girls. In dress and so forth. What I am getting at is that I’m not, nor ever have been a tomboy. Sure, my mom and grandparnts bought me barbies. But, I still preferred trucks and such.
But, getting back to the point. I LOVE to drive, I do whenever I get the chance. When my boyfriend and I go out, I usually drive. When my freinds and I go out (both men and women), I usually offer to drive. And yes, I even pretend I’m a race car driver with the best of them. So I think Vanillanice, maybe you should ask some of your female counterparts if they truly love to drive. It is quite possible they do, but don’t get the chance to do so as much as your male counterparts, for whatever reasons.