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poisonedantidote's avatar

Experiment: Who can find the best stick, men or women?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21638points) January 5th, 2011

I have a little hypothesis that I would like to put to the test.

Because of some things that I have noticed over the years, I have started to suspect that men have a skill that women do not have, or at least, have to a lesser extent.

Perhaps it is a survival thing, perhaps it is a hunter-gatherer thing, or perhaps I’m just crazy, but I think men, have an inbuilt instinct that gives them a sense of appreciation for good sticks.

I suspect that If you show 5 different men, 5 different sticks, the 5 men will be able to reach an agreement on what stick is the best one. But if you show 5 women 5 different sticks, all 5 women will just say “I don’t get it, they are just sticks”.

I know what you are thinking, how can a stick be “the best stick”. Surely some sticks will be better suited at some tasks than others. While this may be true, it is besides the point. When I say a man can tell what stick is the best stick, I mean a man can tell what stick is the best stick, without knowing what the stick is for.

I suspect it is because of this instinct that men have, that Harry Potter (created by a woman) has a little curly wand, whilst Gandalf (created by a man) has a long solid staff. inuendo ftw

With all this in mind, I would like to conduct a little experiment:

Below I will post 4 links to 4 different pictures of 4 different sticks. You task is to tell me, A) If you are male or female, and B) What stick is the best one, and C) if you live in a rural or urban place.


Stick 1
Stick 2
Stick 3
Stick 4

I basically want to see how many people agree with my choice of stick, as well as how many are male and if they live in a rural place or not. I also want to see what kind of grouping there is in different demographics.

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62 Answers

Taciturnu's avatar

I’d have to say it’s a toss up between 1 and 3, depending what its use was. I like 1 for functionality, I like 3 for aesthetics.

F, suburban.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Stick #1, duh.

(I’m female, but barely. I live in suburbia now, grew up in a city)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I’m female,live in a more rural than urban area and pick number one.
It’s the best for pokings and beatings.;)

chyna's avatar

Stick number 1. Female, grew up in a hick town.

ucme's avatar

I was hoping for stick insects! Oh well i’ll make do with twigs then. Male living in an urban area stick no.1. Don’t know why, it just is.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Well, Stick 1 is clearly the best all-purpose stick. Stick 4 has potential to be useful, but looks a bit flimsy. Stick 3 is pretty, but what are you gonna use it for? Pretty much down to firewood or for decoration. And, uh… Stick 2 sucks.

Male, Urban with plenty of nearby rural.

< Thoroughly enjoyed this question.

Arbornaut's avatar

Male, currently rural. Stick one is clearly the best all round basic lever. A fine example of a ‘good stick’

janbb's avatar

Female Stick #1 suburban (but grew up rural)

Vunessuh's avatar

Stick #2 because I can hang my jewelry on it and maybe a scarf or two and since I’m female that’s really all I care about…

Taciturnu's avatar

Called my husband in the room to ask him. Aside from him thinking I’m crazy asking which stick he prefers, he chose stick 3, and didn’t know why. M (obviously), grew up urban, now suburban.

flutherother's avatar

Stick 1 is the only one for me, the others are a bit impractical. I spent my childhood in the countryside and in the woods and choosing sticks was an important skill.

Jude's avatar

#1 (female – tomboy)

thorninmud's avatar

I read recently that primatologists studying young chimps found that young females often appeared to treat sticks as dolls, carrying them for hours and handling them maternally. Young males never do this; they always use them as play weapons. As a male (urban), I understand this instinct to view the stick as a tool, and so I see good potential in stick #1 as an empowering extension of my hand.

That said, I think #3 is by far the nicest to look at.

jaytkay's avatar

Stick 1 Best for poking people
Stick 2 Best coat-hanger
Stick 3 Best decoration
Stick 4 Best weenie-roasting spit

Male, urban, but I spend plenty of time outdoors in the woods and mountains

And often able to over-complicate things

etignotasanimum's avatar

Okay, so I’m noticing that nearly everyone is picking #1, regardless of gender…so, does this disprove your theory?

But, to go along with this, #1 is indeed the best stick, and I’m a female who lives in an area that is considered suburban but is also somewhat rural.

Jude's avatar

You could do a bit of damage with two, though; beating the hell out of someone.

But, I stick with my original answer for all around good stick. :)

ucme's avatar

Stick 4 looks like Victoria Beckham after a night out. She can’t hold her liquor that girl.

Axemusica's avatar

Stick 1 is a good stick, for just being a stick.
Stick 2 looks as if it could be a brutal weapon, if limbs were trimmed.
Stick 3 is drift wood so it’s brittle and wouldn’t serve any good purpose other than it’s quite a pretty stick.
Stick 4 is only good for whipping people, lol.

I’m male, I like in AK, in a Urbanish rural place I guess.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Stick 1 for me as well. Definitely the best all around. It could be used as a walking stick, for defense or even offense, and would be safer to handle than the second one.

Female, urban area.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@etignotasanimum Well, this was not exactly a double blind clinical trial, but yes I’m very surprised by the answers so far.

It is coming up to bonfire season here on Mallorca, so I have been around sticks a lot lately. Here in Spain, at least, from what I have noticed, only males say things suck as “wow, check out this cool stick” with other males responding “whoa yea, thats a great one!” I have never seen females round here expressing the same kind of things.

The gender part of of my hypothesis is obviously blown out the water, but the rural/urban part of it still may produce some kind of interesting results.

If anyone is interested, The closest so far to my choise was @jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities with his choice of stick 1 followed by stick 4.

rangerr's avatar

Stick 1 looks like the sick that you find in the woods and it looks like a great stick, but is really rotted inside and just falls apart when you strike it against something.

Stick 2 is plastic.

Stick 3 belongs on a mantle above my fire place.

Stick 4 looks like the kind of stick that I was sent out to find when I was younger and in trouble, so I could get my ass beat with it.

So therefore, stick 4 is better.
Raised on a farm.
Currently in a city.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Is stick #2 even real?

iamthemob's avatar

1) Male
2) Stick 1 is clearly the best. I would like Stick 3 for decoration, though…
3) Urban

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Stick 1 for all around. Stick 2… I can’t really see how big it is, so it may or may not be good (but the knobby things coming off it would hinder it). Stick 3 would make an awesome piece of art… and that’s about it. Stick 4, good for whipping and wands (can’t really tell without it in my hand, though) but not for much else – maybe roasting smores or poking badgers (for when you don’t have a spoon)?
Female, grew up in White Bread Suburbia, now live in the city.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Female, raised in suburbia, definitely stick #1, but my choice may be based on the fact that I judge all sticks by what is best for throwing for a dog.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Probably not, maybe its just painted, but I think its a fake.

(it’s much harder to find pictures of sticks than you would think)

crisw's avatar

Rural female, and I choose stick 1.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I would like to add that my second choice was #4, but it seemed more flimsy, so I picked #1.

submariner's avatar

1 is obviously the most archetypal, paradigmatic, stickiest stick of the four.

It is the best, assuming the wood is not rotten. That looks like a kind of wood that gets fragile when it lies around—dang, I see rangerr just made that point and beat me to it.

2 and 3 are not what I would call sticks at all.

4 could be the best if you break off that extra bit on the end—it’s hard to tell how thick it is. If it is skinny, it does look like it would be good for roasting hot dogs, as was said above.

Male, raised in small cities near forested areas. I used to collect sticks when I was a kid—on the way home from school I’d find one that looked like a good caveman spear or something, bring it home, leave it next to our front porch, and forget about it, until my mom got annoyed and threw them all away.

ucme's avatar

Is stick 2 taken from that little known reindeer porn mag? What’s it called?......... Stag!

MissAnthrope's avatar

Hey, ladies.. I have a pretty nice stick.. in my pants…

etignotasanimum's avatar

@MissAnthrope I had a feeling that someone would say that! Yay for being the first to do so. GA, definitely. :)

iamthemob's avatar

Personally, as a side, I suspect that you kind of ruined the experiment by (1) making it a competition as to who could pick the best stick between men and women – I mean, we’re both going to pick one of them now, because neither wants to lose (2) ensuring women would pick a stick by telling them they couldn’t (3) explaining why you thought that the underlying reason was a survival thing, coloring how people would generally think of using the stick (4) not telling people to scroll to the end and answer before looking at anyone else’s answer.

Basically, you’ve got a bunch of men and especially women determined to pick a stick to win and focusing on the utility of said stick in the natural world as the deciding characteristic that are probably cheating off of each other.

You’ll probably need to try this again if you want to draw any conclusions from it. ;-)

tinyfaery's avatar

Seems like no point in answering anymore. I feel like I have been influenced by all the above answers. Aside from #2, they would all serve some sort of purpose.

Oh. I’m female and a die-hard city girl.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I just thought it was fun to talk about sticks for awhile.

JilltheTooth's avatar

And hey, we all rocked on the Exhibitionist awards for the cute stick question.

picante's avatar

Sticks and stones may break my bones
And contests always hurt me

Female: live in a rural area, work in an urban area

Stick 1 is the most “practical” and stick 3 is the most beautiful. I tend to favor beauty over practicality any day, so that makes 3 the best in my mind.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I think @picante has stumbled onto something! Whether a person values practicality over aesthetics will absolutely determine their answer here.

Axemusica's avatar

^ Ah HAAAA @MissAnthrope I like where your brain is at.

MissAnthrope's avatar

In my pants? :)

Cruiser's avatar

Stick #2 because it is fake and probably made out of steel and epoxy and is pretty much unbreakable. It would suck as a walking stick or for roasting marshmallows but you could beat down a small army with that stick.

chyna's avatar

@jaytkay You get a GA for admitting to your faults.

holli's avatar

City Girl! Stick 3!

LuckyGuy's avatar

Male, rural, Stick 1 (Obviously)

SamIAm's avatar

A) female
Stick one is nice to have as decoration for your house, like a few of them in a pile or in a vase
Stick two, to me, would make for a good base for a table, and kinda looks like poop
Stick three, would also be awesome in a house and looks the coolest
Stick four is a puny loser.
C) I currently live in a city but grew up in the suburbs

I didn’t get what you meant by “which is the best stick”—to me, it’s for decorative/creative/artsy purposes, but that’s just because nature inspires me, I suppose

downtide's avatar

Raised rural and female, now urban and male (I bet that screws up your gender demographic :-D). I pick stick 1, unless it’s to decorate my mantlepiece in which case I pick #3 which looks very pretty but is otherwise useless for anything but looking at. Sticks 2 and 4 aren’t even nice to look at.

However, personally, I think the best stick is stick #5. It’s about five feet long, between 1 and 2 inches in diameter, sturdy and solid, and straight or nearly so.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Stick 1 looks okay but easily snappable
Stick 2 looks fake as hell
Stick 3 looks too ornamental to really do anything with it
Stick 4 looks great for whapping my cranky neighbor

I think I prefer Stick 4.

semi-rural female

bkcunningham's avatar

@poisonedantidote I’m a female and I’d like to give an observation about men and sticks. A few years ago, my husband and I were in Vermont on a cold fall evening. A man in our group started a bonfire. While the women in the group found comfortable places to sit around the fire, the men were up instantly gathering more sticks for the fire.

As I sat there at ease listening to the sounds of the night and the crackling fire, I observed how the sticks the men carried back kept getting larger and larger until it was almost cartoonish. Each man would disappear and come back with a new stick and sparkling eyes searching for approval of their find.

Finally, with the bonfire now an inferno that threaten a barn, one of the fellows came through a field struggling to drag a fallen tree. The other men stood in awe for a few minutes making unintelligent sounds and surveying the tree. In a few minutes, like architects looking over blueprints, they started making suggestions on how best to place the tree on the fire to get the best benefit. It was hilarious to me.

MissAnthrope's avatar

^^^ Men and fires are another “thing”. I assume that’s some primordial wiring still going on.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

“When I say a man can tell what stick is the best stick, I mean a man can tell what stick is the best stick, without knowing what the stick is for.” – that’s what she said.

Oh and I pick stick 4 as the ‘best’ stick to hit someone over the head with for unnecessary generalizations about the sexes. I have female parts, don’t identify as a woman though and live in NYC (but grew up in a village, next to a forest so I know my sticks and then, I know my sticks).

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@bkcunningham Sooo not just a man thing, lol. My mother in law is notorious for messing with fires while we’re camping… big sticks, little sticks, mammoth logs… we call her the little firebug.

DeanV's avatar

My dog says stick #1.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@dverhey Is your dog male or female? This is essential.

DeanV's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Female that thinks she’s a male. Silly dog pees with her leg up.

I don’t think that helps. :D

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@dverhey Oh, my friend…it helps me so much, you don’t even know. LOL.

Supacase's avatar

Stick #4

Brian1946's avatar

#3 is the most aesthetically appealing but when it comes to functionality, I say none of them- I would prefer a baseball bat.

faye's avatar

female, city, number 3, wow.

SavoirFaire's avatar

A) Male

B) Stick 1 > Stick 4 > Stick 3
(I would be hard-pressed to call the object in the second picture a “stick.”)

C) Urban

stevenb's avatar

Stick one for general use. Stick two for small hotdogs and marshmallows. Male, Montana native, big time stick user.

Nullo's avatar

Stick #1, if I could have no other stick. Male, suburban, former Boy Scout.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Stick 4. M, suburbia.

It is better than stick number one (its only contender). Leaf litter shows that it is longer, with similar width.

It is dead wood which means snappy off the little excess piece can be done simultaneously while taking your first step away with it.

The height of this stick makes it better for balance while hiking.

This stick was so worthy that someone took time to photograph it at night, presumably in a street. As if to say, “look at this wonderful stick!, Just what I have been looking for at a time of day that my flash produces a nearly black shadow beneath it.”

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