Covariation of sex differences in mental rotation with body size

Tan U., Okuyan M., Bayraktar T., Akgun A.

PERCEPTUAL AND MOTOR SKILLS, vol.96, no.1, pp.137-144, 2003 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 96 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.2466/pms.2003.96.1.137
  • Page Numbers: pp.137-144


Sex difference in mental rotation ability was reconsidered. The Vandenberg-Kuse figures were administered to 120 male and 76 female students from the Medical School of BlackSea Technical University in Trabzon, Turkey to assess the mental rotation ability. Students' height and weight were measured. As expected, men outperformed women on this test and had greater height and weight. Number correct on mental rotation test significantly correlated with height and weight for the total sample and for men, but only with weight for women. Using weight as covariate, the sex difference was no longer significant. The mean mental rotation score was significantly higher for heavy women than for light men. There was a positive correlation between weight and mental rotation test scores for heavy women, but height and weight were negatively correlated with mental rotation test scores for light men. These results suggest that there is no sex difference in mental rotation ability as measured.