As the 2010 end of year shopping frenzy grinds to its end, it's a good time to talk about differences in the ways men and women shop. We've all seen the stereotypical behaviors - men who move directly to and from the location of the item that they need to purchase and women drifting through the aisles looking for the right gift. Kruger and Byker have studied these actions and link them to traditional behaviors among hunter/gathers. Although their conclusions are related to shopping, you may find the lessons learned handy as you think more generally about how spaces get used.
After surveying men and women, Kruger and Byker conclude that "We believe, and study findings support this belief, that modern shopping behaviors are an adaptation of our species' ancestral hunting and gathering skills. . . . .Women . . . . scored higher on skills and behaviors associated with gathering, even through the environment and the objects being gathered have changed with respect to our ancestral environment. . . . . Men scored higher on skills and behaviors associated with hunting. Thus even though the prey is now an expensive home theatre system, men are still applying the skills that were developed to obtain meat in a hunter-gatherer environment."