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Who rules the toolbox?

Ladies get hammered Add to ...

Not so fast with the toolbox, fellas - a new study suggests that when it comes to household handy work, women may be the best ones to wield the hammer.

According to researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, women are more accurate than men at hammering.

But handymen can still add a notch to their tool belts: The same study found that men are better than women when it comes to hammering in the dark.

Participants in the study were instructed to hammer with as much force as possible while still remaining as accurate as possible. They were given a number of different target sizes and asked to hammer under different conditions, which included total darkness. Their results were measured on a force plate.

Men tended to use more force when hammering, while the women were more accurate overall - except in the dark.

"Even though we told all our subjects the exact same thing - hammer hard and hammer accurately - men seemed to interpret it as, 'Ha, I need to hammer hard,' and women heard, 'Aha, I need to hammer accurately,'" said Duncan Irschick, a comparative physiology professor from the University of Massachusetts. The eventual goal of the study is to understand how hammering ability evolves from infants to adults. Dr. Irschick also plans on expanding the study's sample size - the data presented was collected from just four men and three women.

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