Gut-wrenching fears of snakes and spiders may start early for many women. Before their first birthdays, girls but not boys adeptly learn to link the sight of these creatures to the frightened reactions of others, a new study suggests.
Neither infant girls nor boys link happy faces with snakes and spiders, reports study author David Rakison of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in an upcoming Evolution & Human Behavior. Youngsters of both sexes also don’t tend to associate images of flowers and mushrooms with either fearful or happy faces, he finds.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.