How jokes about map-reading make women worse with directions

The researchers, from King’s College London, surveyed 1,400 sets of mixed gender twins aged 19 to 21, asking them to record their anxiety levels from one to five.

They were asked how stressful they found trying a new shortcut without a map, following someone’s directions and finding their way around some streets.

The researchers found ‘significantly higher’ anxiety in the female twins across mathematics and navigation skills.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, states: ‘Women who value mathematics, and are acquainted with the social stereotype that women tend not to do as well as men in mathematics, tend to be the most sensitive to the pressure of gender stereotype and to feel anxious about it.’