It's long been known that men have better spatial awareness skills than women, but new research proves that one thing may give women an advantage.

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University gave both men and women a spatial reasoning test. As predicted, men as a group scored better than women. But when the women were asked about birth control use, the researchers found that those who used ‘monophasic’ pills, examples of which include Loestrin, Yasmin and Cilest, performed better than other women. The researchers believe this may be due to lower levels of estrogen in the bodies of subjects taking these medications.

Of course, these results could easily be used to justify pre-existing sexist attitudes towards women in fields like engineering. It's worth pointing out that the lack of women in traditionally male fields has a lot more to do with systemic prejudice than their technical abilities. 

Facts About the pill:

 Recent studies show teens are having sex later, but more teenage girls are also using the morning-after pill to prevent pregnancy.

 Starting this fall, California women will be able to buy hormonal birth control over the counter, without a prescription. 

Cover: Flickr