General Question

mrr5498's avatar

Why do males take fewer notes than females?

Asked by mrr5498 (32points) November 5th, 2009 from iPhone

I am a second year engineering student and have noticed throughout college that, even in technical classes like calculus, physics, and digital systems, most guys do not take notes. Most don’t even have a piece of paper on their desk by the end of the period. If I didn’t know better I’d assume they were just being lazy and get worse grades. However, my roommate and good friend, who is in all of the classes I mentioned with me, exhibits this behavior while being about the smartest person I know and an A student. When I’ve ask him why he doesn’t take notes he tells me it’s unnecessary because anything he’d need to know he could either just memorize or figure out by “thinking about it for a while.” Because I’m one of the few guys that do notetake, my friend’s approach frustrates me because I recieved the same grades as him, but by furiously scribbling 18 hours a week in classes while he sits there.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

Response moderated
Judi's avatar

some people get distracted by note taking. It is easier to learn and get the whole picture if they sit back and take it all in.
It’s sort of like missing a great vacation with your family because you are spending all your time trying to take great pictures and not really enjoying the experience.

JLeslie's avatar

Everyone is different. I took a lot of notes and never opened a book. I mean lterally probably 90% of the time did not read the books or chapters assigned in school. The note taking helped secure the lecture in my brain. Although, in tech classes mostly I was copying problems worked on in class if I remember correctly? It’s been a long time since I took Calculus. I’m a female by the way.

SteveOOO's avatar

I take notes…..

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Maybe it’s because the people that you’re observing not taking are in a course of study that’s a good academic fit for them. I’ve never taken notes in history classes, and always aced them. I can attend historical lectures and recount verbatim what the speaker said. OTOH, I would need to take copious notes in a math or science class, and drill the lecturer with questions.

Harp's avatar

Males tend to score more highly in tests of “spatial intelligence” and, whether or not that’s true, also tend to rank themselves more highly in self-estimates of spatial ability, That means that a male is more likely to try to assimilate a math or technical lecture by picturing the content of the lecture mentally, in spatial terms. That’s difficult to do while taking notes. Plus taking notes gets in the way of thinking about sex.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

I think one of the worst things that has happened in schools is the teaching of how to use a planner. When my little brother was in elementary school a few years back, it was actually part of their weekly homework to keep a planner. Using a planner teaches people to not rely on their brain, so they don’t learn to remember things as well. The use of cell phones did the same thing; think about the home phone number you had as a kid, and then think about the last number you put in your cell phone. Which can you remember with out looking up? By learning to rely on things like planners and cell phones to store our information, we don’t use our brains as much, and in doing so it makes it harder to remember things on our own.

I think this applies to your question about note taking as well. In my experience, women are more likely to keep a planner or takes note then men are, which is fine if it works for them, but I think it makes them rely less on their own memory.

aphilotus's avatar

What are you talking about? I took copious notes, and I’m manish and burly!

mattbrowne's avatar

I take plenty of notes.

Sarcasm's avatar

I notice that generally males take the same amount of notes as females..
But the females go all out with their notes. You know, with two different colored pens and a highlighter. An intricate system of indentation and numbering.

I take all the notes that I can. I can’t remember things from only hearing them. Hearing them, and thinking them, and writing them, and seeing them on paper, solidifies the ideas so much better for me.
I’ve got a 3-subject notebook for this semester, I take boatloads of notes for each of my classes. I’ll be very close to running out of paper by December 19th (end of the semester).

RocketSquid's avatar

I never took notes because I’m an incredibly slow writer with terrible penmanship. Trying to take notes distracted me from the actual lesson and I’d wind up confused with bad notes. I found it better to just pay close attention and memorize everything I could.

wundayatta's avatar

I go to a number of lectures these days, but I never take notes because I don’t have to study for exams any more. What I’ve noticed is that, unless I’m sleepy, I tend to understand what the professor is saying more. Not taking notes allows me to think about what is being said instead of just writing it down.

Now, when I did take notes, I took a lot of them. I think I was able to sort of keep track of what I was hearing as I was writing it down. Later on, I had a lot of notes to refer to.

Note taking really isn’t an option for me any more. My hands shake and it has always been difficult for me to write. I was totally liberated when I learned to type because I can almost keep up with my thoughts.

I also could never memorize. Instead I learned to build a model that would allow me to figure out what I needed to know when asked a question. That helps me here, too. Each situation is unique, but, at the same time, it fits in a niche in the model. The model helps me link all kinds of disparate situations.

This lack of notetaking has one major drawback. When I’m at a meeting, I don’t always capture everything I probably need to remember. Then I do have to make it up later, and sometimes I’m not exactly sure what I was asked to do.

PrancingUrchin's avatar

As a fourth year engineering student all I can say is, “Wait, you have women in your program?”

mrr5498's avatar

@PrancingUrchin True, in my computer science and digital logic classes only about 20% are women, but for whatever reason in calc III and physics it’s an even 50/50 split.

PrancingUrchin's avatar

Yeah, all of my math courses have been/are fairly even split too. But honestly in a program of 450 ME undergrads, I’d say there are three women.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther